New York workers’ compensation eligibility

Understanding who is eligible for workers’ compensation in New York is important for every employed person in the state.

Even the healthiest of New Yorkers can find themselves suffering an injury or an illness caused by a work-related situation. Whether due to a one-time accident or an ongoing part of job responsibilities, workplace illnesses and injuries can cause people to lose time away from their jobs. In some cases, disabilities can even result.

For many people in these situations, workers' compensation can provide financial benefits. However, not everyone is necessarily covered by workers' compensation and understanding the criteria for eligibility is important.

Eligibility for New York worker's compensation

The New York State Workers' Compensation Board outlines clearly the parameters regarding who can receive benefits through the program. In addition to coverage for most employees of private sector for-profit businesses, these include the following:

  • State employees and even some state volunteers
  • County or city employees who work in positions identified as dangerous.
  • Full-time workers in domestic positions.
  • Most employees of non-profit organizations.
  • Farm workers who earned over than $1,200 in the year preceding a workers' compensation claim.
  • Corporation officers if three or more stockholders are in place or if other persons are employed by the corporation.

The state workers' compensation program provides some benefits to teachers in public schools except for those teachers employed in schools in New York City.

Exclusions to New York worker's compensation

The list of people who are ineligible for state workers' compensation benefits is very detailed. Among these are those people involved in running amateur sports programs, non-profit group volunteers, as well as staff members in religious organizations. In New York City, law enforcement officers, sanitation workers and firefighters do not qualify for state workers' compensation benefits.

Eligibility for federal workers' compensation

People who are not able to file for or receive workers' compensation benefits from New York State may be able to receive such benefits from the federal government. The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers' Compensation Programs explains that the federal benefits include those outlined for specific employment groups. Harbor workers and longshoremen, energy employees, coal miners and federal workers are among these special groups.

When an injury or illness occurs

Some injuries become apparent immediately, such as when an on-the-job accident occurs. Others may develop over time such as mesothelioma or carpal tunnel syndrome. Either way, employees can be in need of financial assistance. Talking to an attorney can be a good way to know if workers' compensation benefits can be claimed and to ensure that a claim is properly completed.