On its face, workers' compensation seems like a simple concept: an individual is injured on the job and, as a result, he or she receives compensation while he or she is unable to work. While this basic explanation is accurate to a point, there are many intricacies to the workers' compensation program that can make many claims much more challenging to resolve. Most New Yorkers are protected through their employer's privately held workers' compensation insurance, but those working in the public sector may have to deal with different entities.
There are various programs that seek to protect public employees. Federal employees are protected by the Federal Employee's Compensation Act. Those who qualify for benefits under this program may receive money to help them cover lost wages and medical expenses, but it is typically only available to those who either die or are disabled on account of an injury suffered while performing their job duties.
Those who work in certain identified occupations may have to pursue their benefits through the Federal Employer's Liability Act, which covers individuals in the interstate transportation business. Those employed by local or state governments may have to pursue benefits through their state's workers' compensation system. Although the requirements for recovering benefits may be similar under all of these programs, there can be variations that, if not properly addressed, could jeopardize one's claim.
Navigating a workers' compensation claim can be challenging, especially when complications arise. Whether there are concerns over whether an injury was work-related or whether one is unable to work on account of his or her injury, injured workers need to be prepared with evidence that demonstrates that they meet the requirements under the specific workers' compensation program they are pursuing. To learn more about how to build a compelling workers' compensation claim and how to best navigate the various systems, victims of workplace accidents can discuss their situation with an experienced and qualified attorney.