About the New York State Workers' Compensation Alliance
The Workers' Compensation Alliance is a statewide coalition of injured workers and other stakeholders committed to protecting the rights of injured workers under the New York State Workers' Compensation Law.
Over the past two decades, business and insurance interests have repeatedly claimed that workers' compensation is a "high cost" to employers, that it saps New York's economic competitiveness, and that the system must be "reformed" to reduce costs. These efforts have recently been supplemented by several municipal self-insurers, aggrieved by the impact of the state property tax cap on their ability to raise revenue. None of these claims are true. To the contrary, workers' compensation costs in New York have declined dramatically in the past twenty years, and workers' compensation is a small and declining portion of employer costs. (Workers' Compensation in New York State: Fact and Fiction About System Costs, Workers' Compensation Alliance, November, 2012 (available at: http://www.nyworkerscompensationalliance.org/CostsWhitePaper.pdf)). Trends in the law, accelerated by statutory changes in 2007 and a host of administrative and regulatory initiatives, have reduced worker access to benefits and have reduced claim costs across the board. Overall, the cost of workers' compensation in New York is slightly lower than other costs in the state, and is comparable to similarly situated states. (Id, see also NYCIRB's Review of Oregon Rate Ranking Study, NYCIRB, April 2013 (available at: http://www.nycirb.org/2007/infsvcs/reports/nycirb_oregon_report.pdf)).
Invariably, the target of these cost reduction efforts is benefits for injured workers, whose claims are portrayed as driving increased costs. However, the driving factor in the debate about workers' compensation is not claim costs, but insurer profits. The simple fact is that insurers benefit from greater system costs. As more money flows through the system, insurer profits increase. To deflect attention from this fact, insurers blame the claims of injured workers when attempting to increase their charges to employers.
The workers' compensation system is a fundamental part of the social safety net.
Just and proper compensation for injured workers should not be sacrificed in order to increase profits for insurance companies.
The Workers' Compensation Alliance advocates for the interests of injured workers across the state, giving voice to their concerns in the public arena, and seeking to protect and preserve their rights.