WORKERS’ COMP MAXIMUM BENEFIT RATE RISES TO OVER $1,000 PER WEEK
On April 27, 2021 the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board announced that the maximum weekly workers’ compensation benefit rate will rise to $1,064.05 per week for accidents that happen on or after July 1, 2021. The current maximum benefit rate (for accidents after July 1, 2020) is $966.78 per week, and in the year before that it was $934.11.
The maximum benefit changes each year because it is tied to the average wage of all New York workers. In 2020 that figure was $1,594.57, as compared to $1,450.17 in 2019. The jump was likely due to a much greater loss of low-wage jobs than high-wage jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Not every worker gets the maximum benefit rate. A worker who is totally disabled can receive two-thirds of their pre-injury salary up to the maximum benefit rate for their date of injury. So a worker who earns $750 per week can get a maximum of $500 per week in workers’ compensation, a worker who earns $1,200 per week can get a maximum of $800 per week, and a worker who earns $1,500 per week is limited to $966.78 for accidents before July 1, 2021 – but $1,000 per week for accidents after July 1, 2021.
The maximum benefit rate plays a role in benefits beyond lost time, including permanency awards for injuries to an arm, leg, hand, foot, finger, toe, vision loss or hearing loss.