New York is one of the few states that subsidize a disability insurance program for injured workers who suffer non-job-related injuries. Although the workers' compensation fund assists workers injured on the job, the New York disability insurance fund assists claimants with off-the-job injuries. In addition to helping disabled workers, the state also participates in the federal-state Unemployment Insurance program. Most claimants in New York, including New York City, are ineligible to receive both types of benefits simultaneously.
As noted by the U.S. Department of Labor, only six states administer temporary disability insurance programs for their residents. The federal government does not subsidize a national temporary disability insurance program, and only permanently-disabled individuals can receive federal disability benefits through the U.S. Social Security Administration (SSA). State-specific programs complement the federal-state Unemployment Insurance program, and in some circumstances, claimants can receive benefits from both. The New York State Workers' Compensation Board administers its workers' compensation fund and the state's temporary disability insurance fund.
New York Laws
The New York Unemployment Insurance Law requires workers to be able to begin work immediately if they receive employment offers. However, the New York Disability Insurance Law requires that employees be unable to work on a temporary basis because of their physical or mental limitations affecting them temporarily, and once they are able to return to work, they must return to work for their employers. The New York Disability Insurance Law specifically limits benefits to claimants who suffer disabilities through no fault of their own. Similarly, the New York Unemployment Insurance Law specifically limits unemployment benefits to those who are not at fault for their unemployment.
New York City Employees
New York City employees are also eligible for the statewide disability and unemployment insurance programs and are subject to the statewide disability laws and federal-state unemployment insurance laws. The maximum disability insurance benefits payable to eligible employees is $170 per week, effective May 1, 1989. The maximum unemployment insurance benefits payable to eligible employees is $405 per week. Unemployed workers who already receive unemployment insurance benefits must have become disabled within four weeks after filing for unemployment insurance benefits and within 26 weeks. During the weeks they are unable to work because of their temporary disabilities, they can file claims for temporary disability. New York City will most likely end unemployment benefits during these weeks.
Since unemployed claimants must prove that they are willing and able to work, they cannot receive disability benefits while simultaneously receiving unemployment insurance benefits. The two types of benefits are at odds, since temporary disability benefits seek to replace wages when employees are unable to return to work temporarily for their current employers. When claimants receive unemployment insurance benefits, they must be willing to work and remain physically and mentally able to work.
- New York State Department of Labor: Unemployment Insurance Benefits – An Employer’s Guide (PDF)
- New York State Department of Labor: Unemployment Insurance Information Handbook for Claimants (PDF)
- New York State Workers’ Compensation Board: Disability Benefits -- Disability Benefits
- New York State Workers’ Compensation Board: Frequently Asked Questions
- New York City Bar Association: Employment Law Handbook for Non-Lawyers (PDF)
- U.S. Department of Labor: Temporary Disability Insurance (PDF)