Atticus offers free, high-quality workers' compensation advice to those injured at work. Our team of Stanford and Harvard trained lawyers has a combined 15+ years of legal experience, and help thousands of Americans get the benefits they deserve each year.
If you suffer a work-related injury, one of the most important benefits from workers’ compensation is the payments you receive to cover lost wages. Payments are generally worth two-thirds of your pre-tax pay, but there are limits and the type of injury you have also affects how much you get. Certain treatments and medical care are also covered.
If your illness or injury leaves you unable to work for more than a week, you could qualify for biweekly payments to cover your lost wages. Workers’ comp payments in New York are generally worth two-thirds of your average weekly earnings before you were injured, up to a maximum of $1,125.46 if your injury occurred after July 1, 2022.
New York determines lost wage benefits according to two factors: your average weekly wages (AWW) and your degree of disability — a percentage based on your ability to do work compared to your ability before the injury.
The exact formula to calculate your payments is as follows:
⅔ of AWW x % degree of disability = weekly workers’ comp payment
The New York Workers’ Compensation Board sets your AWW based on your approximate number of days worked per year and the gross pay you received in the 52 weeks before getting injured or sick. The Board gets this information directly from your employers, even if you changed jobs or worked multiple jobs.
If the amount of your payments is ever incorrect, you should contact the Board. It may also be a good idea to talk with a workers’ comp lawyer.
How long do workers’ comp payments last?
When you get workers’ compensation, you start with temporary benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) — the point where you’ve recovered as much as possible.
If you’re still not recovered to the point you were before the injury, you’ll have an evaluation with your workers’ comp doctor to determine your degree of disability. You can qualify for long-term payments at this point. Exactly how long the workers’ comp payments last will depend on what body part was injured and your degree of disability.
If you experience total disability (a degree of disability of 100%) and you’ll never be able to work ever again, you can qualify for lifetime payments. You should also consider filing for Social Security disability benefits.
For partial disability, which is any degree of disability rating that’s 95% of less, the type of injury makes a big difference.
Injuries to critical body parts like your brain, heart, lungs, spine, or pelvis — all called non-schedule injuries under New York law — entitle you to workers’ comp payments that last between 225 weeks (for 15% degree of disability) and 525 weeks (for 95% degree of disability).
Injuries to your limbs, hands, feet, your vision, or your hearing — called schedule injuries in New York law — entitle you to payments that last between 16 weeks and six years based on the injury. The table below has more exact timelines.
Body part injured
Max payment length
312 weeks (6 years)
288 weeks (5.5 years)
244 weeks (4.7 years)
205 weeks (3.9 years)
160 weeks (3 years)
75 weeks (1.4 years)
How much medical care does workers’ comp cover?
As you get treatment for your illness or injury from a state-approved doctor, your employer’s insurer will cover expenses for all necessary care. Some expenses that New York workers’ comp covers include
Prescribed equipment for recovery
Mileage or public transportation fees for traveling to and from appointments
Other necessary expenses for traveling to get care
When you get workers' comp medical coverage, the New York Workers’ Compensation Board requires you to see a Board-approved doctor. Your employer may also have you see a provider in their network for your first appointment. These rules don’t apply to emergency care.
Other types of workers’ comp payments
In addition to lost wage payments, workers’ compensation in New York state offers additional payments in the event of disfigurement or death
If you receive workers' comp for disfigurement to your face, head, or neck, you’ll get a one-time payment of up to $20,000. This benefit only applies to injuries in those specific areas.
If your family member dies due to a work injury or illness, you can get compensation through New York’s workers’ comp program. The state of New York has three types of survivor benefits payments.
Weekly cash benefits: The deceased worker’s spouse, children, and other dependents are entitled to weekly payments. They’ll receive two-thirds of their deceased family member’s AWW for the 52 weeks before illness or injury.
One-time payment for surviving parents or estate: If the worker has no spouse or dependents, their estate or parents can qualify for a $50,000 payment.
Funeral or memorial expenses: Workers' compensation will cover up to $10,500 for most state workers, but up to $12,500 in funeral expenses if the worker lived in New York City, Nassau county, Rockland county, Suffolk county, or Westchester county.
How to get help with your workers' comp claim
While you don’t need a lawyer to get workers' comp, having one can make the process much smoother. Not only are they experts in the whole process, but a good lawyer will help you get the highest benefit payments or settlement possible. Workers' comp cases involving a lawyer have settlements worth five times more than those without.
It’s also free and simple to get legal help. Atticus can connect you with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer for free (and you only pay the lawyer after you get benefits or a settlement). Fill out our 2-minute workers’ comp quiz to see if you could have a strong case and to get connected with a lawyer if you want one.
Maximize your workers' comp benefits.
Frequently asked questions: workers’ comp in New York
How do I file a workers’ comp claim in New York?
First, give your employer written notice of your work injury within 30 days. Then you should file Form C-3 with the state Workers' Compensation Board. You can find more details in our guide to filing for workers’ comp in New York.
How much does workers’ comp pay in New York?
New York workers’ comp pays up to two-thirds of your average weekly wage before your injury, with a minimum of $150 per week and a maximum of $1,125.46 per week in 2023. Read more about how much workers’ comp pays in New York.
When does workers' comp start paying in New York?
New York has a seven-day waiting period before you’re eligible to get workers’ comp benefits. Payments won’t start until after your claim is approved, and the insurance company has either 18 days after your injury date or 10 days after your employer received notice of your injury, whichever is later.
How long can I be on workers’ comp pay in New York?
You will continue getting benefits until you reach maximum medical improvement (MMI) or until you can return to work. Permanent benefits are available if you never recover enough to return to work. Our breakdown of how long benefits last in each state has more information.
Can I work on New York workers' comp?
Yes, you can work on workers’ comp and there’s no strict limit on the number of hours you can work. However, you can only do light-duty or modified-duty work that stays within your treating physician’s treatment plan. Read more about working while on workers’ comp.
How long ago did you get an injury or illness at work?
Victoria Muñoz is an attorney on Atticus’s Workers' Compensation team. She’s a licensed attorney, a graduate of Stanford Law School, and has counseled hundreds of people seeking workers' compensation. In her free time, she enjoys hiking and spending time with her pup.
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