You were hurt in a motor vehicle accident and filed for No-Fault benefits. Did you know that no-fault may also be able to reimburse you for lost wages?
If you are injured in a motor vehicle accident and are unable to work because of your injuries, you may be reimbursed by a no-fault lost wages claim for the wages you lost. No-Fault will reimburse 80% of your pay up to $2000 per month. And, the good news keeps coming – no-fault lost wages are tax-free!
No-Fault requires that you file for New York State disability through your employer. You must be employed with your current job for at least four weeks to apply through your employer. If you’ve been there for a shorter period of time, then New York State looks to your prior employer. New York State disability will reimburse you for half of your pay, up to $170 per week.
New York State disability will pay you first, then No-Fault will reimburse the remaining amount, if any. For example: You earn $250 per week, or $1000 per month. No-Fault will pay 80% of your salary up to $2000 per month – 80% of $1000 is $800. Therefore, you are entitled to receive $800 per month in lost wages. But before you are paid by No-Fault, you will first be reimbursed by New York State disability. New York State disability will pay half of your salary up to $170/week. In this instance, you will receive $125 per week from New York State disability for a total amount of $500 per month ($125 = half of $250 weekly salary). No-Fault will then pay $300 in lost wages ($800 – $500 = $300).
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Are There Situations Where No-Fault Will Not Reimburse My Lost Wages?
There are occasions where No-Fault will not reimburse you for lost wages. For instance, if your employer pays you $500 per week while you are out of work (or $2000 per month), then you are not entitled to lost wages through no-fault. Remember, no-fault will pay 80% of your salary up to $2000 per month. In the above example, your employer is already paying you $2000 per month while you are out.
You may be entitled to more than $2000 per month if you have purchased optional coverage through either APIP or OBEL. Either plan may entitle you to receive more than $2000 per month. These plans will be discussed in a later blog but if you have any immediate questions, contact us to speak with a personal injury lawyer in Long Island.
What Steps Must I Take to Continue Receiving Reimbursement for Lost Wages?
If you have ever had to file for unemployment insurance in New York State after being let go from a job, you are probably familiar with the process. Every week, you must either call the NYS unemployment office or log into your online account to claim your benefits and confirm that you are still unemployed and therefore require financial assistance. Otherwise, the state will assume that you have found work and no longer need your unemployment insurance to cover bills and everyday costs, and your benefits will stop being sent to you.
The way disability insurance works is pretty similar in that you must provide proof of your need for it. The no-fault insurance company essentially wants to know that you are indeed still unable to work and earn money for yourself and your family. Therefore, in order to receive lost wages, you must provide disability notes to no-fault insurance every thirty days. Sometimes your a doctor may just will write on a note that you cannot work for the next three months. Unfortunately, this is not good enough, and no-fault insists that you must provide a note every 30 days to continue to receive lost wages.
Though it can be frustrating to see your doctor every month during which you are disabled to request a note for no-fault, it is imperative to do so anyway so you do not lose the wages that will help support you and your family while you are injured and unable to attend your job every day.
What if I Have to Use My Sick Time or Vacation Time While I’m Disabled?
What happens if your employer requires that you use your accrued sick or vacation time while you are out of work? In that case, you will not be able to receive lost wages through no-fault. However, you may be reimbursed for the accrued sick or vacation time you had to use. No-Fault will send a form to your employer who must verify that you were required to utilize your accrued time, and then no-fault will send these benefits once they are viewed. It is important to note on the subject of vacation time and sick time that New York State disability will cover your lost wages for up to 26 weeks. If your disability continues beyond the first 26 weeks, No-Fault requires that you apply for Social Security Disability.
Yet another important note is to remember that lost wages through no-fault insurance claims may be paid up to three years after the date of the accident. However, this does not mean you will be entitled to lost wages for that entire period. As said above, you must continue to provide disability notes to prove you cannot work because of the injuries you suffered from the accident. Also, if no-fault coverage is denied for any reason, you may also lose your right to receive lost wages.
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No one ever thinks that they will get into a motor vehicle or other type of accident. Whether you’re a pedestrian injured in a motor vehicle accident, a bicyclist, the driver, or a passenger in a car involved in an accident, you may end up with severe injuries that prevent you from returning to work right away. This can be one of the scariest positions to be in because suddenly you are unable to provide for yourself and must depend on insurance to come through for you. If no-fault insurance denies your request for coverage for your lost wages, contact Rosenberg & Gluck, LLP’s personal injury attorneys at (631) 451-7900 and let us see what we can do for you.