Bill S6740-2013

Increases the maximum disability benefits payable under workers' compensation based upon the statewide average weekly wage

Increases the maximum disability benefits payable under workers' compensation based upon the statewide average weekly wage; provides that the employee contribution to such disability benefits shall be annually determined by the superintendent of financial services.

Details

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  • Mar 5, 2014: REFERRED TO LABOR

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S6740

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to the maximum weekly benefits payable to disabled employees and employee contributions for disability benefits

PURPOSE:

This bill would provide an increase in temporary disability benefits up to a cap of 1/2 of the average weekly wage in three steps over three years, and indexed thereafter.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1: Amends subdivision 2 of section 204 of the workers' compensation law to gradually increase the capped amount of Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) benefits in three steps from its current level of $170 per week. On January 1, 2015 the benefit will equal 1/2 of an employee's weekly wage, up to maximum of 35% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (AWW). This cap increases to 40% in 2016, and 50% in 2017 where it will remain.

Section 2: Amends subdivision 3 of section 209 of the workers' compensation law permitting the Superintendent of Financial Services to annually determine the amount of employee contributions that will sufficiently fund the TDI program commencing one or after January 1, 2015.

Section 3: This act shall take effect immediately.

JUSTIFICATION:

Currently, the maximum weekly benefit that may be obtained under New York's Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) program is $170. This level has gone unchanged since 1989, even as individual's see their living costs increase. For New Yorkers, this benefit is too small to replace the wages they would otherwise earn if not for their disability. That is why this legislation will raise the maximum cap to 35% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (AWW) in 2015, 40% in 2016, and 50% in 2017. Following the last step up, the maximum would be indexed to the AWW in perpetuity to ensure that the benefit rises alongside living expenses. Without a higher benefit, our current disability system does not give New Yorkers the support they need to manage work and life.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:

New Bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS:

To be determined.

EFFECTIVE DATE:

This act shall take effect immediately.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 6740 IN SENATE March 5, 2014 ___________
Introduced by Sens. SAVINO, KLEIN, VALESKY, CARLUCCI, AVELLA -- read twice and ordered printed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Labor AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to the maxi- mum weekly benefits payable to disabled employees and employee contributions for disability benefits THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. Subdivision 2 of section 204 of the workers' compensation law, as amended by chapter 38 of the laws of 1989, is amended to read as follows: 2. THE WEEKLY BENEFIT WHICH THE DISABLED EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE FOR DISABILITY COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOU- SAND SEVENTEEN SHALL BE ONE-HALF OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WEEKLY WAGE, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH BENEFIT EXCEED FIFTY PERCENT OF THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER; EXCEPT THAT IF THE EMPLOYEE'S AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE IS LESS THAN TWENTY DOLLARS, THE BENEFIT SHALL BE SUCH AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE. THE WEEKLY BENEFIT WHICH THE DISABLED EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE FOR DISABILITY COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND SIXTEEN SHALL BE ONE-HALF OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WEEKLY WAGE, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH BENEFIT EXCEED FORTY PERCENT OF THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER; EXCEPT THAT IF THE EMPLOYEE'S AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE IS LESS THAN TWENTY DOLLARS, THE BENEFIT SHALL BE SUCH AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE. THE WEEKLY BENE- FIT WHICH THE DISABLED EMPLOYEE IS ENTITLED TO RECEIVE FOR DISABILITY COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN SHALL BE ONE-HALF OF THE EMPLOYEE'S WEEKLY WAGE, BUT IN NO CASE SHALL SUCH BENE- FIT EXCEED THIRTY-FIVE PERCENT OF THE STATEWIDE AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE AS DETERMINED BY THE COMMISSIONER; EXCEPT THAT IF THE EMPLOYEE'S AVERAGE WEEKLY WAGE IS LESS THAN TWENTY DOLLARS, THE BENEFIT SHALL BE SUCH AVER- AGE WEEKLY WAGE. The weekly benefit which the disabled employee is entitled to receive for disability commencing on or after May first, nineteen hundred eight- y-nine shall be one-half of the employee's weekly wage, but in no case
shall such benefit exceed one hundred seventy dollars; except that if the employee's average weekly wage is less than twenty dollars, the benefit shall be such average weekly wage. The weekly benefit which the disabled employee is entitled to receive for disability commencing on or after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-four shall be one-half of the employee's weekly wage, but in no case shall such benefit exceed one hundred forty-five dollars; except that if the employee's average weekly wage is less than twenty dollars, the benefit shall be such average weekly wage. The weekly benefit which the disabled employee is entitled to receive for disability commencing on or after July first, nineteen hundred eighty-three and prior to July first, nineteen hundred eighty- four shall be one-half of the employee's average weekly wage, but in no case shall such benefit exceed one hundred thirty-five dollars nor be less than twenty dollars; except that if the employee's average weekly wage is less than twenty dollars the benefit shall be such average week- ly wage. The weekly benefit which the disabled employee is entitled to receive for disability commencing on or after July first, nineteen hundred seventy-four, and prior to July first, nineteen hundred eighty- three, shall be one-half of the employee's average weekly wage, but in no case shall such benefit exceed ninety-five dollars nor be less than twenty dollars; except that if the employee's average weekly wage is less than twenty dollars, the benefit shall be such average weekly wage. The weekly benefit which the disabled employee is entitled to receive for disability commencing on or after July first, nineteen hundred seventy and prior to July first, nineteen hundred seventy-four shall be one-half of the employee's average weekly wage, but in no case shall such benefit exceed seventy-five dollars nor be less than twenty dollars; except that if the employee's average weekly wage is less than twenty dollars the benefit shall be such average weekly wage. For any period of disability less than a full week, the benefits payable shall be calculated by dividing the weekly benefit by the number of the employee's normal work days per week and multiplying the quotient by the number of normal work days in such period of disability. The weekly benefit for a disabled employee who is concurrently eligible for bene- fits in the employment of more than one covered employer shall, within the maximum and minimum herein provided, be one-half of the total of the employee's average weekly wages received from all such covered employ- ers, and shall be allocated in the proportion of their respective aver- age weekly wage payments. S 2. Subdivision 3 of section 209 of the workers' compensation law, as amended by chapter 415 of the laws of 1983, is amended to read as follows: 3. The contribution of each such employee to the cost of disability benefits provided by this article shall be one-half of one per centum of the employee's wages paid to him OR HER on and after July first, nine- teen hundred fifty AND BEFORE JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, but not excess of sixty cents per week. FOR EACH CALENDAR YEAR COMMENCING ON OR AFTER JANUARY FIRST, TWO THOUSAND FIFTEEN, THE CONTRIBUTION OF EACH SUCH EMPLOYEE TO THE COST OF DISABILITY BENEFITS PROVIDED IN THIS ARTICLE SHALL BE AN AMOUNT ANNUALLY DETERMINED, IN REGULATION, BY THE SUPERINTENDENT OF FINANCIAL SERVICES. S 3. This act shall take effect immediately.

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