When you have an injury or illness that prevents you from working, the stress of the situation can hit you hard. Not only are you already in pain, but you are unable to continue gainful employment at the same time. Financial pressure quickly creeps in. Bills and expenses do not stop just because you cannot work. This is why disability benefits are so important.
The State of New York requires all covered employers to provide short term disability benefits to eligible employees. The New York Workers’ Compensation Board, a division of the New York State Department of Labor, is tasked with supervising the administration of short term disability benefits. While these benefits are meant to protect the well being of workers in the State of New York, they can be difficult to access and understand. That is why Seelig Law Offices, LLC helps our clients get these much needed benefits. We help unravel the intricacies of the short term disability system and answer any question you may have along the way.
Am I Eligible for a Disability Insurance Program?
The State of New York has a Disability Benefits Law. Under this law, New York employers are required to provide temporary disability benefits to all eligible employees. These disability benefits include weekly cash payments for up to 26 weeks per year. An individual who is eligible for short term disability will apply for benefits through their employer’s disability insurance program.
In order to be eligible for short term disability benefits, the person seeking the benefits must have been injured or become ill while not working. Job related injuries and illnesses are covered separately, namely under workers’ compensation laws. Additionally, the individual must be employed or recently employed at the time of the injury or illness. More specifically, the employee must be:
- Someone who has recently worked and collecting unemployment or someone who is working for an employer for at least four consecutive weeks;
- A person who has recently changed jobs from one employer to another without any interruption in employment. Employment must be continuous and, if it is, benefits would be available as soon as your first day at your new job; or
- A domestic worker, such as a nanny, who works at least 40 hours a week for one employer.
If a person works for an employer who is not covered by the Disability Benefits Law and is, therefore, not required to provide disability benefits, he or she may still elect for voluntary coverage. In this case, the employee would be eligible to receive benefits should he or she be injured or become ill outside of work.
Legal Counsel You Can Depend On When You Need Help Getting Disability Benefits
Figuring out whether you are eligible and how to access disability benefits can be overwhelming. Unfortunately, many people are in desperate need of these benefits while they are trying to navigate the complexities of the short term disability system. At Seelig Law Offices, we are here to help you when you need it the most. Contact us today.