New York Announces 2014-2015 Max Benefit Rate

Maximum Benefit Increases to $803.21 (effective July 1)

The maximum workers’ compensation weekly benefit is two-thirds of the prior year’s New York State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). The NYS Department of Labor has determined that the 2013 SAWW was $1,212.98, up 1% from 2012. As a result, the maximum weekly benefit for claims with a date of accident or disability from July 1, 2014 through June 30, 2015, is $808.65.

This benefit has more than doubled in the past seven years. Because Scheduled Loss of Use Award are calculated by multiplying the temporary total disability rate by weeks of compensation, for high wage earners the value of scheduled losses has doubled in that time frame, significantly increasing costs to business in New York.

Minimum Benefit Remains $150

The 2013 Business Relief Act increased the minimum weekly benefit to $150. The new minimum weekly benefit applies to workers’ compensation claims with dates of accident or disability on or after May 1, 2013. The minimum benefit is subject to the existing limitation that the injured worker’s weekly benefit plus any actual earnings (or earning capacity) may not exceed the injured worker’s average weekly wage at the time the injury.

Greg Lois is the managing partner of LOIS LLC and dedicates his practice to defending employers and carriers in New York and New Jersey workers' compensation claims. Greg is the author of a popular series of "Handbooks" on workers' compensation, and is the co-author of the 2016-2019 Lexis-Nexis New Jersey Workers' Compensation Practice Guide. Greg can be reached at 201-880-7213 or