One of the most important No Fault benefits is lost wage reimbursement. The statute provides for up to 80% lost wage reimbursement and that wage reimbursement is tax free.
The No Fault system is designed to keep your nose above water while you are healing. If you are disabled from work, your doctors will provide you with these disability notes every 30 days.
Those must be given both to your attorney and to your employer. Your employer is going to process those with a short term disability carrier and then we process it with your No Fault carrier. We have a dedicated No Fault paralegal who will handle all this for you, as well as sending in those notes the same day they are received by us. The disability notes provide confirmation to the insurance company that you are disabled according to that specialty.
For example, if the chiropractic IME determines that you can return to work, but you are also treating with an orthopedic surgeon or a pain management doctor and those doctors provide notes of disability, then typically we can have the wage benefit continued, because we have a different specialist disabling you based upon their area of specialty.
No Fault wage benefits can last up to three years and are designed to provide you with income while you heal and recover from disability from a car crash. In the first 26 weeks you will receive partial payment from a New York State Disability policy through work. Once that exhausts, No Fault will kick in and you will get the full 80% check from the No Fault carrier. We often get questions about this, and because people are very concerned about paying their bills, paying their mortgage, or how can they can keep their family intact when they can not get out of the bed in the morning? This is a benefit that is critical and we handle it very assertively. If there are any issues at all, we automatically get a wage denial of our arbitration.
One other topic that we come across is people who are self-employed. If you are self-employed, you are also entitled to lost wage benefits, however it is a bit trickier. Oftentimes they require the last three years of income tax returns, your books, customer list, receipts, and proof of what your actual expenses were. You are still entitled to lost wage benefits but because you are self-employed you must provide information similar to what you provide to your accountant for tax purposes.
Although it often is a bit of a battle with the insurance carrier, we fight this battle every day. We are someone that you can turn to or call whenever there are any issues, or any concern regarding any document, paperwork, or forms that need to be filled out.