New York State Disability Insurance for employees was created through a special provision in New York State’s Workmen’s Compensation Law that was passed in 1914, which provides benefits to workers who lose wages due to non-job-related illness or injury.
New York is one of only a few states that provides off-the-job disability benefits to eligible workers who suffer an injury or illness that is not related to their job.
WHO ADMINISTERS THE PROGRAM
The New York State Workers’ Compensation Board administers the New York State Disability Insurance program, which is part of the New York State Department of Labor. The Workers’ Compensation Board is governed by twelve members and a Chairperson appointed by the Governor and confirmed by the New York State Senate.
The work of the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board is funded through the State Executive Budget allocations. The Board is a state-level agency that administers and oversees the NYS Disability Insurance program and processes all disputed claims. While the Board plays a central role in the New York State Disability Insurance program, the Workers’ Compensation Board does not directly fund cash benefits to workers.
Covered employers are obligated to provide for disability benefits either by purchasing insurance from the New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF), by insuring with a private insurance carrier, or by self-insuring. Premiums for disability insurance policies are paid directly to the insurance carrier by the employer.
A covered employer is allowed, but not required, to collect from each employee, through payroll deduction, a contribution of 1/2 of 1% of wages paid, but not in excess of 60 cents per week. An employer may waive all employee contributions or, by employee agreement and acceptable to the Chair of the Workers’ Compensation Board, arrange for employee contributions in excess of the statutory rate if the amount is reasonably related to the value of the benefits provided.
Summary of the NYS Disability Insurance Program
The New York State Disability Insurance program provides a temporary weekly cash benefit to replace, in part, wages lost due to injuries or illnesses by an off the job injury or illness, or to unemployed workers who lose unemployment insurance benefits due to illness or injury. Disability benefits are cash payments only; medical care is the responsibility of the injured worker. Benefit rights begin on the eighth consecutive day of disability.
To qualify for NYS Disability Insurance, a worker must be working for a “covered” employer and be disabled by an off the job illness or injury preventing him/her from working for at least 7 days. Immigration status, residency, assets, and income do not affect eligibility for NYS Disability Insurance.
Covered workers should file a complete claim as promptly as possible, and should file on the 8th day after the date of disability, although they have up to 30 days after the disability to file a claim. Forms are submitted to the Disability Benefits Office of the Workers’ Compensation Board, and if filed promptly and completely, payments can begin within four business days after the 14th day of disability, or four business days after receipt of the claim, whichever is later.
Other Benefits under the NYS Disability Insurance Program
The New York State Disability Insurance Program provides only a cash benefit; it does not provide any other benefit.