A recent ruling by the Appellate Division of the State Supreme Court states that the New York Workers’ Compensation Board should not have denied benefits to 9/11 volunteers who worked in the cleanup, rescue, and recovery efforts but were not officially affiliated with an “authorized rescue entity.”
The 13-member board of the Worker’s Compensation Board has accepted the decision. They stated that they would review “any reopening/reconsideration requests for claimants who have received decisions which were decided upon the volunteer/affiliation basis.”
With search efforts underway, the Board has identified nine additional cases, and encourages anyone who may have been denied benefits to come forward.
Since its establishment in 2003, the federally funded, $50 million World Trade Center Volunteer Fund has given benefits to 1652 persons. $15 million dollars remain in the fund.
Many are disappointed by the actions of the Fund. They claim that there are many out there who need medical financial assistance but are not receiving it. One stated that the board “clearly did not follow the intent of Congress when it provided the funding for this program and it needs to take responsibility for improperly denying benefits to WTC volunteers for all these years and not only provide benefits…but it has to contact all of the volunteers they improperly turned away…”
Workers’ Compensation in New York
Workers’ compensation is essentially employer-funded insurance that provides cash benefits and/or medical care for workers who are injured or become ill as a direct result of their job.
New York workers’ compensation benefits include the payment of medical bills, a weekly payment for each week the injured worker is unable to work, and continued payment for a permanent work-related injury. The awards for these types of work-related injuries are based upon past earnings. The law limits workers to benefits received through workers’ compensation so a worker cannot sue their employer for added benefits.
A workers’ compensation claim is paid if the employer or insurance carrier agrees that the injury or illness is work-related. If the employer or insurance carrier disputes the claim, no cash benefits are paid until a judge decides who is right. If you or a loved one has not been able to receive workers’ compensation benefits due to an employer disputing the claim, seek the experienced legal counsel and aid of the workers’ compensation lawyers at Fitzgerald Law Firm in New York. Call today for a free initial consultation.