FAQ

How do I know if I’m entitled to Workers’ Compensation?
Under New York’s Workers’ Compensation Law, any employee who sustains an injury which arises out of and in the course of employment, regardless of what caused the injury, is entitled to Workers’ Compensation benefits.  However, it is often difficult to obtain workers’ compensation benefits because the claims process is complicated and insurance companies will try to deny your claim in an effort to avoid paying up. Additionally, the application process can become quite complicated and deadlines must be met which can sometimes make things difficult. If you were injured on the job and want to learn more about your rights, contact Fusco, Brandenstein & Rada, P.C., for a free consultation today!
I’ve been injured on the job, what do I do next?
The three most important things you should do immediately following a workplace injury include:
  • Notifying your employer verbally or in writing with the details of the work related accident
  • Seek medical attention for any and all injuries you sustained.  Even if you feel it’s a minor injury, an injury is an injury!  Documentation is very important.
  • Contact a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer
To get a more in depth explanation as to where you go from here, please contact us.
Can I be fired for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
NO Under New York State Law an employer may not fire or in any way discriminate against an employee for the filing of a Workers’ Compensation claim, after all, that’s what insurance is for. If you are in a situation where you were fired after being injured on the job, you may have legal options and even options to collect monetary benefits in addition to Workers’ Compensation.  It’s important you know what you are entitled to and if you are in a position to take other legal action! As your legal advocates, you can count on us to protect your rights.
How much does the attorney get paid?
Consultations are free.  You will NEVER have to pay an attorney directly.  Attorney fees in Workers’ Compensation cases are set by the Judge and paid by the insurance company from awards to the injured worker.  You will never receive a bill from our firm. You’ve suffered enough; now it's time to take action. Contact us today.
Can I get paid for pain and suffering due to my work related injury?
Workers’ Compensation pays for all related medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages.  There is no “pain and suffering” award.  There are monetary awards for permanent injuries that affect your earning capacity.
Can I receive a monetary settlement for my injuries or work related illness?
In all cases, an attempt to settle a claim can be made with the insurance company to settle a Workers’ Compensation Claim.  If your on-the-job injury or work related illness results in a permanent impairment, you may be entitled to a settlement, even if you do not lose time from work.  The amount of the settlement and method of determining and approving the settlement depend on the specific details of your injury and facts of your case.
Can I be fired for filing a Workers’ Compensation claim?
NO. Under New York State Law an employer may not fire or in any way discriminate against an employee for the filing of a Workers’ Compensation claim, after all, that’s what insurance is for. If you are in a situation where you were fired after being injured on the job, you may have legal options and even options to collect monetary benefits in addition to Workers’ Compensation.  It’s important you know what you are entitled to and if you are in a position to take other legal action! We are here to protect your rights and ensure you are treated fairly by the insurance company and your employer.
What if I have a pre-existing injury?
An aggravation of a pre-existing injury is covered by workers' compensation. If you had no functional job restrictions due to your pre-existing injury prior to your new work-related accident, you are eligible for the same benefits as someone who was injured on the job for the first time.
Are heart attacks and strokes covered by workers' compensation?
Yes. A heart attack or stroke caused by the physical or mental stress of your job is generally covered by Workers' Compensation. The heart attack or stroke generally must happen at work or soon thereafter. Even if you had a prior heart condition or other risk factors not related to your work, you may be entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Heart attack and stroke claims are some of the most difficult claims to establish at the Workers' Compensation Board, so you should consult an experienced workers comp lawyer as soon as possible

Q&A for Social Security Disability

Do I have to wait a certain amount of time before I’m allowed to file for Social Security Disability benefits?
If you are suffering from a serious illness or injury and predict you will be out of work for at least a year, you should consult with an attorney about filing a claim.
I was injured at work and I’m receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. Should I file a Social Security Disability claim now or wait until my Workers’ Compensation case is settled?
You should file a Social Security claim as soon as possible to avoid ANY gap in benefits.
Can I receive Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Benefits at the same time?
Yes. However, the amount of Social Security Disability you receive can sometimes be lowered to offset your Workers’ Compensation benefits.  When you are receiving both benefits, it is of utmost importance to consult with an experienced attorney to ensure you are receiving the maximum benefit you are entitled to.
Do I need to have an attorney or representative to apply for Social Security Disability or Supplemental Security Income?
You are not required to have representation when applying for SSDI or SSI benefits; however, it is HIGHLY recommended.  Without representation you may run the risk of filing incomplete applications or missing important deadlines.  By retaining an attorney who specializes in Social Security Disability and Supplemental Security income, you immediately increase your chances of filing a successful claim.

Q&A for Municipal Pension

I am a municipal employee (i.e., police officer, sanitaiton worker, home health aide, firefighter, highway worker, etc) and I am injured while on duty and in the course of my employment. Am I entitled to a disability pension?
Yes. However, the type of pension you are entitled to and the amount of your pension will depend on your tier status, the manner in which you were injured, and the number of years you have in the Retirement System.
I am a municipal worker and I became disabled as the result of an off the job injury or an illness. Am I entitled to a disability pension?
Yes. The Retirement System does provide for an ordinary disability pension, but the amount of this pension will depend on tier status.
If i receive an accidental disability pension from the Retirement System, can I also receive Workers' Compensation benefits?
Yes, but the amount of your Workers' Compensation payments will be deducted dollar for dollar from your pension payment.
Since Workers' Compensation benefits will be deducted from my accidental disability retirement pension, do I nevertheless have to file for Workers' Compensation benefits?
Yes, because the law requires that you do so. If you do not file for Workers' Compensation benefits, the penalty is that your accidental disability pension payment will be reduced by the amount of Workers' Compensation benefits you would have been entitled to.
Can I receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in addition to my disability pension benefits from the Retirement System?
Yes, Social Security Disability Insurance benefits are payable in addition to disability pension benefits, except for certain very limited circumstances.
Can I receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in addition to an ordinary disability pension?
Yes, you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in addition to your ordinary disability pension.
Can I receive Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in addition to my service retirement pension?
Yes, you can qualify for Social Security Disability Insurance benefits in addition to your service retirement pension.
Is an accidental disability retirement benefit taxable?
No, accidental disability retirement benefits are tax free.
Are all municipal disability pensions tax free?
No, only accidental and performance of duty disability pensions are tax free.
Are there time limits in which disability retirement pensions must be filed?
Yes, there are very strict time limits in which you must file for disability retirement pensions, which vary depending on tier status, job title, and type of disability pension.

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