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Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Frequently Asked Questions—New York Workers’ Compensation—Your Rights to Benefits

After a work-related injury in New York, you may be uncertain about your rights to seek benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. Here are some frequently asked questions that we receive about the basic right to workers’ compensation:

Q: Must all employers provide workers’ compensation benefits in New York?  

A: There are only three exceptions to the general requirement that all New York employers provide workers’ compensation coverage for employees:

  • The business is a sole proprietorship with no employees of any kind, no volunteers and does not use subcontractors
  • The business is a partnership, but has no employees of any kind, no volunteers and no subcontractors
  • The business is a corporation with less than three shareholders, all of whom own stock and hold offices with the corporation. These shareholders must own all stock of the company and hold all office within the corporation. In addition, there must be no employees of any kind, no volunteers and no subcontractors.

Q: Can my employer require that I pay some or all of the premium for my workers’ compensation coverage?

A: No. In New York, by law, payment of any workers’ compensation insurance premiums is solely the responsibility of the employer. Your employer may not require that you pay any portion of it.

Q: Must an employer have a policy of workers’ compensation insurance?  

A: Technically, yes, an employer must have a workers’ compensation insurance policy. However, that “policy” can take a number of different forms. The employer may obtain coverage from a private insurance company or may purchase a policy from the New York State Insurance Fund. In addition, the employer may seek to be “self-insured,” though that is rare. To be self-insured, an employer must demonstrate the ability to pay any workers’ compensation benefits out of operating capital/income. To qualify for self-insurance, an employer must be approved by the state of New York.

Q: What Are My Options If My Employer Does Not Have Workers’ Compensation Coverage?

A: The failure to have a valid policy of workers’ compensation insurance in place is considered a serious offense in New York, subjecting employers to a hefty fine. An employer with more than five employees can face felony charges for failing to provide workers’ compensation coverage, and will typically be disqualified from public works jobs.

If you were hurt, but cannot collect because your employer did not carry workers’ compensation insurance, you can file a claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board to collect benefits for lost income and medical expenses from the state-operated Uninsured Employers’ Fund. In addition, you can file a personal injury lawsuit against an employer who did not have workers’ compensation insurance.

Proven Workers’ Compensation Lawyers—New York City | Queens

At Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani, we work with clients who have suffered all types of work-related injury, including:

Occupational Illness or Disease| Hearing or Vision Loss | Back and Neck Injury| Shoulder, Arm, Hand and Finger Injury | Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) | Spinal Cord Injury | Fractures | Burns | Paralysis |  Paralysis | Permanent Scarring or Disfigurement | Amputation or Loss of Limb | Hip, Leg, Foot and Toe Injury | Accidental Death

We offer more than half a century of combined workers’ compensation experience to injured workers throughout the NYC metropolitan area, including the borough of Queens. We built our practice on a commitment to the highest levels of personal service and attention, making certain we learn the details of your injury, so that we can fully protect your rights. We work closely with colleagues in the legal profession, offering our experience, skills, knowledge and resources to your clients who have been hurt on the job.

To learn more about the full scope of our practice, see our practice area overview page.

Pyrros, Serres & Rupwani

Workers’ Compensation Attorneys—Queens, New York