No-Fault Benefits (Part 3 – Lost Wages)

You were hurt in a motor vehicle accident and filed for No-Fault benefits.  Did you know that no-fault may 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 no-fault for the wages you lost.  No-Fault will reimburse 80% of your pay up to $2000 per month.  And 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).   


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.


Most importantly, in order to receive lost wages, you must provide disability notes to no-fault every thirty days.  Sometimes a doctor will write on a note that you cannot work for the next three months – this is not good enough – you must provide a note every 30 days to continue to receive lost wages. 


What happens if your employer requires that you use your accrued sick or vacation time while you’re out of work?  In that case, you will not 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.


Important Note: 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. 


Important Note: 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 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. 


Check out the whole Series:

No-Fault Benefits (Part 1 – Overview)

No-Fault Benefits (Part 2 – Medical Treatment)

No-Fault Benefits (Part 3 – Lost Wages) — Current

No-Fault Benefits (Part 4 – APIP and OBEL)

No-Fault Benefits (Part 5 – Denial of Benefits)