No-Fault Lost Wages In New York

            After getting injured in a car accident you may not be able to go back to work and return to your every-day routine. Luckily, in New York State if you are not physically capable of returning to work, No-Fault will reimburse a portion of your lost earnings. New York State is one of 12 states that provide no-fault coverage. This coverage can apply to you if you were a driver or a passenger in the struck vehicle. 

No-fault New York
No-fault New York

The standard No-Fault benefits are able to cover a maximum of $2,000 per month, or, 80% of your lost earnings. New York State Disability, through your employer, will contribute the additional 20% of your lost earnings.  This help from New York can last up to a maximum of three years from the date of the accident. In order to ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to, it’s important to apply for New York State disability as soon as possible. After your motor vehicle collision, a No-Fault Application, also called an NF-2 form, must be submitted to your No-Fault Insurance carrier.  This form will ask you information about yourself like your name, address, social security number, description of accident, description of injuries, work information, time off of work, and more. This process is very time sensitive and requires a great deal of attention. You have only 30 days following the date of the collision to fill out and submit this application. Filing this form is a step in the right direction of protecting your rights. 

The next step would be to file for New York State disability benefits. If you decide to not file for disability it can be detrimental to your No-Fault lost wage benefits. Failure to do so can reduce the amount of money that you would receive from No-Fault, for your lost wages. As soon as you file for lost wages it is crucial to file for disability as soon as possible. Filing in a timely matter can prevent you from losing money or waiting a longer amount of time for your money.

Following the completion of the NF-2 form, it’s also required to send your insurance company proof of employment. This can be done with a wage verification form called an NF-6. This form will be sent to the injured person’s employer and will be completed by the employer. This form asks for information like the amount of weekly wages and days missed from work as a direct result of the accident. This form is required to be filled out to confirm that the injured party is an actual employee. If the form is correctly filled out and the information turns out to be fair and accurate then the No-Fault carrier will send out your check for the time lost from work and the wages.

In addition, a disability note is required from a doctor stating that as a result of the motor vehicle collision, you are unable to work due to your injuries. Consequently, a disability note has to be provided from your doctor every 30 days. This means that your doctor can’t write you a disability note taking you out of work for more than 1 month at a time, the insurance company won’t accept it. The doctor has to be very specific in the dates that they are taking you out and that it is a direct correlation to the motor vehicle collision that you were involved in.  In order to continue receiving lost wages, a new note has to be sent to the insurance company every 30 days or else the checks can be denied or delayed. 

            After you have received a disability note from your doctor this is the time to send it into No-Fault whether this is done yourself or through your attorney. It is important to send it to the correct address as there are many different locations for each insurance company and attention it to your adjuster. This is why we recommend having an attorney handle this so your mailing isn’t delayed by small mishaps. When you hire an attorney, it is their job to make sure all of this information is correct so you don’t get delayed in receiving your check. When the No-Fault adjuster receives your disability note, it has to be reviewed and confirmed with your employer, then it will be sent out in the mail directly to you.

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Some Common Questions asked about Lost Wages:

How Long Does It Take to Get Paid?

            It takes the length of the disability note yourself or your attorney sent in to No-Fault to get paid. This means that on the last day your disability note covers your absence from work, is the day the adjusters call your place of employment and confirm that these days are in fact, the days you were absent from work. The reason they have to wait until the last day is, if you were able to return to work, and chose to do so, No-Fault would not cover the days you chose to go back to work. After it is confirmed that in the time frame of your disability note you didn’t go back to work, your check will be sent out. This check takes around a week or two to come in. 

Insurance companies will commonly delay or deny claims this is why it is important to have an experienced attorney help you apply these denials so you are able to receive the money you are entitled to.

How Long Can I Receive Lost Wages?

            No-Fault will cover your lost wages as long as there is overage and you continue to be taken out of work as a result of your injuries that are related to your motor vehicle collision.  However, after 26 weeks of being out of work, it is a requirement that you apply for Social Security Disability Benefits. 

Will My No Fault Lost Wages Checks Be Taxed?

            The answer to this is no, your lost wages will not be taxed.

What if the Coverage I’m Receiving Isn’t Enough For my Injuries?

            If you are seriously injured and need more than the $2000 coverage of your medical bills and lost wages per month, you might meet the New York State’s threshold for “Serious Injury”. This threshold criteria involves injuries such as dismemberment, fracture, permanent loss, permanent limitation, and more. If you meet this criteria you may be able to make a claim against the driver at fault’s insurance company. This is rather difficult to do and generally requires the aide of an experienced personal injury attorney.

Can I Get More than $2,000.00 a Month for Lost Wages?

          Yes, you can.  But that’s only if you select the additional coverage when you sign up for car insurance.  These coverages include Optional Basic Economic Loss (“OBEL”) or Additional Personal Injury Protection (“APIP”).  This will generally allow you to recover 80% of your lost wages up to $2,000.00 per month.  Word of caution, your insurance carrier may try to assert a lien on your Personal Injury/Motor Vehicle case.  Your attorney should be able to fight this with the insurance carrier as there is a case in New York that says that if your case value exceeds the value of the insurance you are going after, you should have the lien waived.  Grinage v. Durawa, 144 AD3D 1506, 4th Dept 2016.

What If I Need To Return to Work?

            If you need to return to work due to financial reasons it’s okay to do so, however, when you return your No-Fault lost wage checks will stop and you will not receive them anymore.

If you are having problem obtaining your lost wages and want to speak with one of our No Fault attorneys for a free consultation, please complete the form below or hit the “Call Now” button.

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