Most New Yorkers who get hurt while on the job know that they may not have to cover their losses on their own, but they may not be sure how to access the benefits available to them. Workers’ compensation seems like it should be a pretty straightforward thing to navigate, but the truth is that it is anything but simple. Here are a few common questions people tend to have when wanting to pursue workers’ comp benefits.

Question number one: What and who does workers’ compensation cover? The vast majority of employers in the state of New York are required to have workers’ comp insurance. This insurance can cover all types of work-related injuries and illnesses regardless of their severity. It can even offer death benefits to families of those who fail to survive their workplace injuries.

Question number two: What is non-compensable? Some people file for workers’ compensation only to have their claims denied. There are several reasons why this happens. If an injury or illness is not thought to be work-related, if a claim is considered fraudulent, or if the injury or illness is the result of regulatory negligence, one’s workers’ comp insurance provider may refuse to payout.

Question number three: Can an employer treat a worker differently if he or she files for workers’ comp benefits? No. Treating an employee differently because he or she tries to access the benefits available to him or her is illegal. An employee who feels he or she has been retaliated against may take legal action in an effort to hold his or her employer accountable and seek relief for any resulting losses.

Workers’ compensation benefits should not be difficult to access. Unfortunately, many New York residents find the opposite is true. Those who are struggling to get the assistance that they need after suffering a workplace injury or illness can turn to legal counsel for help. An experienced workers’ comp attorney may be able to help one appeal a claim denial, negotiate fair compensation or, if appropriate, file legal actions against an employer to seek maximum relief.