NYC Law Dept. Report: Taxpayers Are Footing the Bill for More Work Comp Claims

Liz Carey

New York, NY (WorkersCompensation.com) – New York City taxpayers are paying more than ever for city employees’ work comp claims, per a recent report.

According to data from the New York City Law Department, workers’ compensation claims payouts in 2017 totaled $25.7 million. The costs covered nearly 19,000 employees injured on the job.

Chris Madrid with the NYC Law Department referred all WorkersCompensation.com questions to the report and declined to comment.

The report covers information for all workers’ compensation claims administered by the New York City Law Department, excluding “uniformed firefighters, uniformed sanitation workers and pedagogical employees of the Department of Education.”

The total amount paid represents a 109% increase over claims in 2008. The report shows that the average payout per claim was $1,381. In 2008, the average claim payout per claim was $793.

“The total amount paid in 2017 with respect to these claims was $25.7 million. This includes $14.7 million for wage replacement and $10.7 million for medical costs. This represents a increase of 17% when compared with payments made in 2016,” the report said.

“The largest numbers of claims came from the following five agencies:

  • Department of Correction (5,007)
  • Health and Hospitals Corporation (3,842)
  • Department of Education (3,388)
  • Fire Department (1,666) and
  • Police Department (1,298)

These agencies account for approximately 82% of all claims made in 2017.

The leading agencies in terms of cost were:

  • Department of Correction ($5.3 million)
  • Health and Hospitals Corporation ($4.4 million)
  • Department of Education ($2.8 million)
  • Police Department ($2.2 million) and
  • Fire Department ($1.7 million)

These five agencies account for approximately 64% of payments made on the cases in this report during 2017.”

Officials said the increase in corrections officers was due to increased violence at the city’s jails.

In 2013, city employees injured on the job cost the city nearly $17.4 million in workers’ compensation costs and penalties. The report at that time noted that the $17.4 million rate was only a fraction of the total costs of workers’ compensation and did not reflect ongoing payments to city employees injured in previous years.

“These costs do not in any way account for the pain and suffering caused by this heavy toll of injury and illness,” Joel Shufro, a long-time New York City safety and health advocate told the Chief Leader in 2014 in reference to the report. “They also gloss over the horror of many of the truly gruesome workplace injuries.”

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