May 28, 2013
By John Merlino
Many injured workers, especially union members, may be eligible for what’s called Disability Pension Benefits. In general, however, disability benefits are considered to be temporary cash benefits for people injured off the job. In other words, an injury that did not arise out of, or in the course of, employment. This type of benefit may be offered under a private disability plan, and/or a plan an employer may have employees contribute to in order to offset the cost of the plan. The employer may also fund the plan herself.
With regard to union members, the individual union may offer a similar type of disability benefit either temporary, long-term or both. Commonly, each member contributes to this benefit either through their union dues or through their paycheck. The benefit may sustain a disabled member medically and/or financially. The benefit will vary from union to union.
That is why it’s imperative for every member to inform themselves about what their disability benefit will be, if any. WHY? If you get injured on or off the job or develop a disabling medical condition, you will want to be able to plan ahead for your future medical costs and daily expenses. Don’t wait until you are disabled from working to find out.
Many building trade members are involved in construction site accidents, so aside from receiving workers’compensation benefits which is currently $792.07 per week for an injury that occurred on or after 7/1/12, that member may have legal entitlements under New York State Law to file a civil lawsuit for unsafe work conditions. Many members are faced with this issue everyday which can change their lives completely and affect their financial security in the future. It is difficult to sustain yourself financially when you are injured and waiting until your lawsuit finalizes for a favorable settlement or verdict.
Educate yourself now, should you become permanently or temporarily disabled from working. Know what your entitlements are from your union regarding Disability Benefits or Disability Pension Benefits. Always consult with a lawyer if you have questions before filing for any type of benefits due to an accident or disabling medical condition.
William Schwitzer learned all about strong work ethics from his parents growing up on that farm in Connecticut, working alongside them to earn an honest-humble living. Today, he still maintains a full working farm but on Long Island where he returns to the days of his youth to recharge and reflect when not battling for the rights of injured workers in the courtroom.