For the first time since 2008, workers' compensation rates are going down in New York State, Gov. Cuomo announced today.
The New York Compensation Insurance Rating Board, a non-government organization, recommended an increase on rates earlier this year. The administration did not agree that an increase was necessary, and the annually decided rates will ultimately decrease by 1.2% for the upcoming year.
"To create jobs and get our state's economy back on track it is essential that New York's businesses remain in a competitive position to succeed in the global marketplace," Cuomo said in a statement. "For years, the workers' compensation system has been too costly for businesses and ineffective for injured workers."
According to the governor's office, the Workers' Compensation Board earlier this year delivered on reforms from the 2007 Workers' compensation Reform Law, such as capping the number of years for benefits and creating treatment guidelines. These reforms, the governor's office said, affected the decision to decrease rates.
"Under the Governor's leadership, New York has taken dramatic steps that ultimately will benefit workers' compensation insurers, claimants, and businesses -- both large and small -- throughout the state," said Benjamin Lawsky, superintendent of financial services. "At a time when many states are gutting their workers' compensation systems, New York is working to continually improve our workers' compensation system for employers and employees."
The President of the New York State AFL-CIO, Mario Cilento, issued a statement thanking Cuomo for the reforms, saying "the reform led to the indexation of the benefit at two-thirds of the state's average weekly wage so that never again would injured workers suffer an erosion of their benefits through inflation."
Heather Briccetti, president and CEO of the New York State Business Council, said that the effectiveness of the reforms needs to be evaluated, calling the 2007 legislation a "good faith effort."
"The cost of workers' compensation coverage remains a significant competitiveness issue for New York State business, and we look forward to working with the Administration and other stakeholders on the next steps in improving the system," Briccetti said in a statement.