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How to File for Workers' Comp in New York

Written by
A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.
Victoria Muñoz
Lead Attorney
November 20, 2022  ·  4 min read
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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.

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If you work in New York and get sick or injured on the job, you could be eligible for workers’ compensation. Your first step is filing a claim and even though you can get started with a single form, the process can still be long and daunting. It’s also hard to know what your next steps are and what to do if something goes wrong. This guide will explain who qualifies, how to file for workers' comp in New York, and what to expect after you submit your claim.


Who qualifies for New York workers' comp?

Most workers in New York can qualify for workers’ compensation if they get sick or injured on the job, and it requires them to miss at least seven days of work. Types of workers who qualify include

  • Full-time, part-time, temporary, and seasonal employees of for-profit businesses
  • Workers who receives a W-2 from their employer during tax season
  • Unpaid employees, such as volunteers and family members, of for-profit businesses
  • Paid employees of nonprofit organizations, except for those in certain educational or religious roles

Unsure if you qualify? Fill out our 2-minute workers’ comp quiz and we can help you figure out if you qualify.

Who doesn’t qualify for workers’ comp?

Unpaid volunteers at nonprofits and independent contractors don’t qualify for workers' comp in New York, with the exception of first responders and firefighters. Note that workers in construction and transportation have specific rules to determine who qualifies as independent contractors.


How to file for workers' comp in New York

Before you file a workers' comp claim, tell your employer about your injury in writing as soon as possible. Your employer needs to notify their workers’ comp insurer, and the insurance company is who pays your workers’ comp benefits. 

Next, you need to file Form C-3 within two years of your injury date or you’re no longer eligible for New York workers’ comp benefits. Ideally you should file the C-3 form within 30 days. The sooner you submit your application, the sooner you can get workers’ comp payments and other benefits.

3 ways to file Form C-3

New York’s workers' comp department, the Workers’ Compensation Board offers multiple ways to submit your Form C-3:

One filing option in the future might be to find the nearest Workers’ Compensation Board office and complete the form in person, though as of November 2022, offices are closed to the public due to the COVID-19 pandemic.


Information you need to fill out Form C-3

Before you file, gather the following information to make filling out Form C-3 as easy as possible:

  • Contact information for the employer where you were injured and any other employers you had at the time of your injury
  • The date you were hired for the job where you got injured
  • The amount of each pay period (before taxes) at the time of your injury
  • The date, time, and work address where you got injured or sick
  • The details for any vehicles involved, including license plate number if possible
  • Names of anyone who witnessed your injury or exposure to illness
  • The date you sent notice of your injury to your employer
  • Contact information for the doctor who treated you for the injury, as well as where and when you go that medical care

The form will also ask you to give a detailed description of what you were doing at work when you were injured or sick, including the body parts affected.


What happens after I file for workers' comp?

After you file for New York workers' comp, the state’s Workers’ Compensation Board will review your application and reach out if they need more information. In some cases they’ll schedule a hearing to confirm the details of your claim and decide whether you qualify for benefits.

At the same time, your employer’s insurance company should be processing your claim. If they accept it, they should generally start paying your medical bills and sending payments within 18 days of learning about your injury. If they challenge your claim, you may also need to attend a hearing. Talking with a lawyer could be a big help if your claim is denied.

Learn more in our full guide to New York workers' comp.

The rest of the workers’ comp process in New York

Here’s a basic rundown of the what to expect during the process:

  • Get ongoing medical treatment for your condition.
  • Receive workers’ comp payments (called lost wage benefits) if you have to miss more than seven days of work because of your injury or illness.
  • Reach maximum medical improvement (MMI), the point where you’ve recovered as much as possible.
  • Ask your doctor for a disability evaluation, which allows you to continue receiving longer-term payments if you lost some or all capability to work from your injury.
  • Earn ongoing disability wage benefits if you qualify, based on the type of injury and its severity.

Filing for workers' comp in New York City

Filing for workers' comp in New York City works the same way as it does everywhere else in the state. The city doesn’t have any specific workers’ comp laws.

Similarly, if you need to hire a workers’ comp lawyer at any time, you can hire a lawyer anywhere in the state of New York. Since the law is the same in all of New York, don’t limit your search to just the five boroughs if you’re having trouble finding a good fit.

Related: How to find a qualified workers’ comp lawyer


Where to get help with your workers' comp claim

The workers’ comp process can be complicated, with many deadlines and requirements you need to meet. Working with your employer’s insurance company can also be tricky.

The best way to get help with your workers’ comp claim is to work with a lawyer. Not only will a lawyer explain the whole process to you, they can increase your payments — claims with lawyers result in payouts that are five times higher.

Atticus can connect you with a New York workers' comp lawyer for free and you don’t need to pay the lawyer until you get workers’ comp payments or a settlement. Take our 2-minute workers’ comp quiz to get started.

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.

Is workers’ comp taxable in New York?

No, workers’ comp payments aren’t taxable, including weekly benefits, medical benefits, and settlements.

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A drawing of the lead workers' compensation lawyer for Atticus.

Victoria Muñoz

Lead Attorney

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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