Who qualifies for workers’ compensation benefits in Syracuse, NY?

While most employees in New York State qualify for workers’ compensation benefits if they suffer an injury or illness as a result of working, there are some individuals who are exempt from coverage. In this article, individuals will gain a better understanding of who is covered by workers’ comp in New York and what they can do if they are wrongfully denied benefits.


Who is eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits?


  • Individuals employed by a for-profit business

If a person works for a for-profit business in Syracuse such as a sole proprietorship, Limited Liability Company (LLC), partnership, etc., they are generally covered by their employer’s workers’ comp insurance. In order to be classified as an employee, an individual must perform their duties “under the supervision, direction, and control of an employer either on or off their premises.”1

Employees who are classified as any of the following should be entitled to collect workers’ comp if they suffer a work-related injury or illness:

  • Part-time worker
  • Full-time worker
  • Seasonal employee
  • Temporary employee
  • Volunteer or family member
  • Casual/day labor employee


  • Individuals who are employed by a nonprofit entity

If a nonprofit entity pays an individual for their services, it is generally required to provide them with workers’ compensation coverage. There are some exceptions, however, that should be noted. For instance, “clergy and members of religious orders” typically aren’t covered by workers’’ comp, according to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board.


  • Independent contractors

If an individual is hired by a contractor and identifies as an employee, they should be covered by the contractor’s workers’ comp insurance. An independent contractor, however, may only be able entitled to collect benefits if they purchased insurance for themselves.

An independent contractor is someone who:

  1. Is “free from control and direction [while] performing their job.”
  2. They perform their services “outside the usual course of business for the employer.”
  3. They engage “in an independently established trade, occupation, or business that is similar to the service they perform.”


What if an employee is wrongfully denied workers’ comp benefits?


Employees are sometimes denied workers’ compensation benefits if:

  1. They fail to report their injury to their employer within 30 days of their accident happening.
  2. Their employer doesn’t believe the injury occurred at work.


While an employer is certainly entitled to exercise their right to deny benefits, their decision can be overturned if the denial was made in error. If an individual believes they were wrongfully denied workers’ comp benefits, they are encouraged to contact Stanley Law to discuss their matter with a Syracuse, NY workers’ comp lawyer.


Stanley Law has multiple offices in Central New York that are located at:


Syracuse Office


215 Burnet Avenue

Syracuse, NY 13203

Phone: 1-800-608-3333

Website: www.stanleylawoffices.com


Binghamton Office


84 Court St., Ste 414

Binghamton, NY 13901


Watertown Office


200 Washington St., Ste 407A

Watertown, NY 13601


Rochester Office


510 Clinton Square, Ste 521

Rochester, NY 14604


Montrose Office


22 Public Avenue

Montrose, PA 18801



  1. http://www.wcb.ny.gov/content/main/coverage-requirements-wc/for-profit-business.jsp