In my Albany, New York State injury law practice, I often receive questions from Workers’ Compensation clients regarding cost of living increases.
It seems logical that a disabled employee would be entitled to a cost of living increase in their weekly disability payment. However, that is not the case.
In reality, people who were injured many years ago and are still collecting benefits receive the exact same amount that they were awarded at the time of classification. This means that an employee injured in 1980 earning $300.00 per week is bound by that average wage even though the cost of living has skyrocketed since then.
Obviously, it would be impossible to live on Workers’ Compensation benefits alone from such an old injury. Unfortunately, there is no valid legal argument that ongoing benefits should include a cost of living increase.
If you have question regarding your Workers’ Compensation claim in New York State, please feel free to contact our office.