December 14, 2022
How to File for Disability after an Accident in New York
By Jonathan Damashek
Serious accidents have lasting effects on your life. If you are unable to work for an extended time after an accident, you may qualify for disability.
There are different types of disability benefits to consider. If you have private disability insurance, that might be the easiest to obtain quickly. However, you may also qualify for short– or long-term disability or social security disability.
What Are New York’s Disability Benefits Laws?
According to New York’s disability benefits laws, every employer in the state must have insurance to cover short-term disability benefits for employees. The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board oversees these benefits. They are provided through the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF).
If you cannot work for longer than 26 weeks, you may qualify for long-term disability through New York’s Office of Labor Relations. People who are disabled or expected to be disabled for at least one year may receive disability benefits through the Social Security Administration.
Qualifying for Short-Term Disability Benefits in New York
Short-term disability is available for anyone who is disabled due to a non-work-related injury or illness. New York’s short-term disability also covers pregnancy. To qualify for short term disability benefits in New York, you must:
- Currently or recently have worked for a “covered employer”
- Be a domestic worker who has worked at least 40 hours for one employer (i.e., a nanny or personal assistant)
- Elect voluntary coverage if you do not work for a “covered employer”
A covered employer has at least one employee, with some exclusions for government agencies, religious organizations, and charity organizations. Additionally, high school students who work part-time or only on vacations are not covered by New York short-term disability benefits.
Injuries that Qualify for Disability Benefits
Any injury or illness that results in your inability to work for an extended period can qualify you for disability benefits. However, some common injuries result in the need to file for disability compensation, including:
- Traumatic brain injury (TBI)
- Severe whiplash
- Back injuries
- Serious burns
- Hearing or vision loss
- Fractured or broken bones
- Joint injuries
- Depression or anxiety
These injuries take significant time to resolve, leading to your inability to work for up to 26 weeks.
Disability Benefits and No-Fault Insurance
If you were injured in a car accident and have no-fault insurance, your insurance benefits may be reduced if you file for disability. Your insurance benefits are meant to make you whole again. If you are receiving wage benefits from disability, then your no-fault insurance may be reduced by the amount you get from those benefits.
How Do I File a Claim for Disability?
To file a short-term disability claim with New York, you must file a DB-450 form, which can be obtained from your employer. This Notice and Proof of Claim for Disability Benefits form should be sent to the Workers’ Compensation Board, Disability Benefit Bureau at P.O. Box 9029, Endicott, NY 13761-9029.
If your disability was caused by a no-fault motor vehicle accident or the car accident was caused by a third party, you must also complete a Claimant’s Statement Regarding No Fault or Personal Injury Form DB 450.1.
You must submit medical information about your injury, including a statement from your doctor about being temporarily disabled.
You Have Limited Time to File
You must file a short-term disability claim with New York within 30 days of the day you became injured. If you don’t file your claim within that deadline, then your claim will likely be denied.
What Benefits Are Provided, and How Are They Paid?
New York’s short-term disability benefits are cash only. They pay 50% of your average weekly wage up to $170 per week (this amount changes periodically). Short-term disability benefits may be paid for up to 26 weeks during any 52-consecutive-week period.
Contact a New York Disability Lawyer for Help
You may be able to obtain funds from New York’s disability system, or you may qualify for social security disability. You should consult a disability attorney who can review your case and help you understand your options.
Call Hecht, Kleeger & Damashek, P.C. at 212-490-5700 or contact us online to schedule a consultation.