Bonacic: Workers' Compensation Overhauled

John J. Bonacic

March 07, 2007

State Senator John J. Bonacic (R/I/C - Mount Hope) announced that the Senate has approved the implementation of reforms agreed upon by the Governor and Legislature to the State’s Workers’ Compensation System. The measure calls for increases in benefits to injured workers, as well as reductions in the amount employers pay.

Senator Bonacic stated, "Benefits for injured workers have remained constant for over a decade. Employers are overburdened with this tremendous expense. I applaud the Governor for his leadership and all parties involved such as the Senate, Assembly, labor representatives and business leaders for working together to resolve this long contentious issue."

Key elements of the reform package include:

Reducing employer costs for worker’s compensation premiums by ten to fifteen percent.

Increasing the maximum weekly benefit for injured workers from $400 to $500 in the first year, increasing per year for four years to a maximum of two thirds of the average weekly wage, indexed annually;

Setting the maximum number of years that a small population of claimants can receivecash benefits, saving hundreds of millions of dollars. Medical services would continue for these injured workers;

Providing a safety net for injured workers to assist in returning to work;

Implementing strong antifraud measures, increasing penalties for violators.

"We, as elected officials, must do all we can to assist New York’s workers and employers for they are the backbone of our communities, as well as our future. I was pleased to vote in favor of this important legislation," concluded Senator Bonacic.