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Workers' compensation and Section 32 Waivers

Employees in New York have many rights. These include rights to be paid minimum wages and for pay if they work over a certain number of hours. They also cannot be discriminated against for a variety of reasons including age, race, gender, religion, disability and other protected factors. They cannot be retaliated against for making complaints or for exercising their rights. They are also entitled to workers' compensation benefits if they are injured while they are working.

Employers are required to pay workers' compensation benefits to injured workers through their workers' compensation insurance. These benefits cover most workplace injuries, but there are a couple of exceptions to that rule. The benefits pay for the injured workers medical bills and a portion of the income if they are unable to work because of the injury. These benefits can be very valuable to the worker while they recover and allow them to focus on healing and not financial difficulties.

Generally these benefits are paid periodically, but workers do have another option for payment. These are known as Section 32 Waivers and they allow the worker to take a lump sum payment instead of the periodic payments. The lump sum amount is negotiated through the insurance company and injured worker. The agreement would settle all claims meaning the worker would not be allowed to seek any additional benefits. These agreements do need to be approved by the Workers' Compensation Board though. The agreements can settle both the lost wages claim and medical bills claim or just settle one of those claims.

Unfortunately many people are injured while at work in New York. These workers may have a right to workers' compensation benefits which can be valuable as the worker recovers. The injured worker does have an option to take a one-time, lump sum payment though or an annuity through a Section 32 Waiver. These should only be used in certain circumstances though and the worker should have a full understanding of the extent of their injuries when entering into the agreement. Consulting with an experienced attorney could be helpful.

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