Nolan Announces Historic Agreement to Reform Worker’s Compensation Benefits

February 28, 2007

Albany – Assemblywoman Nolan (D-Queens) announced that the Legislature and Governor Spitzer have reached an agreement to reform New York State’s worker’s compensation system – a move that increases benefits for injured worker’s and reduces costs for employers between 10 and 15 percent.

“Reforming New York’s worker’s compensation system is a major achievement”, said Assemblywoman Nolan, former chair of the New York State Assembly Labor Committee. “We have one of the most expensive systems in the nation that gives low benefits and requires high premiums. This agreement helps injured workers make ends meet without forcing small businesses to close their doors.”

Under the new agreement, the maximum benefit rate for injured workers is increased over a four-year period from $400 to two-thirds of the average weekly wage in New York. In year 1, the rate is raised to $500; in year 2, to $550; and in year 3, to $600. In year 4, the rate will be indexed to the average weekly wage. In addition, the minimum weekly benefit will increase from $40 to $100.

Assemblywoman Nolan noted that the State’s Superintendent of Insurance will work with the Worker’s compensation Board and the Department of Labor to make additional administrative reforms within the system.

“For the first time in more than a decade, workers will see benefits raised and businesses will be able to keep insurance costs down. It benefits everyone, including taxpayers, and strengthens New York’s economic competitiveness”, said Assemblywoman Nolan.