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Workers' Compensation

Paraprofessionals, nurses, occupational and physical therapists, administrative titles and Substance Abuse Prevention and Intervention Specialists (SAPIS), including subs, who have been injured or made sick on the job should file for Workers’ Compensation. In certain circumstances such as chronic illness associated with responsibilities, lab specialists and vocational teachers may also file for Workers’ Compensation.

Workers’ Compensation is a form of insurance, paid for in advance by your employer, which entitles you to full medical coverage and part of your salary for job-related injuries and illnesses. You are entitled to Workers’ Compensation no matter whose fault your injury or illness may be — so long as it was not caused by willful maliciousness and occurred on school property or in the normal course of performance of your work duties.

  • Medical
    Workers’ Compensation will pay all medical expenses — tests, hospitals, medicines, physical therapy, equipment, a home care attendant if essential, and transportation to and from doctors upon authorization from the New York City Law Department (Insurance Carrier) — even if you do not lose any time from work.
  • Financial
    If you are out of work for more than seven days as a result of your job-related injury or illness, Workers’ Compensation will pay approximately 2/3 of your gross wages lost for total disability. The rate for reimbursement of wages and sick time will be determined by the New York State Workers' Compensation Board based on the degree of disability and employee's rate of pay. Note that these seven days need not be consecutive days of absence; they can accumulate over time. Your eligibility for lost wages begins on the eighth day you are absent from work, unless your leave extends beyond 14 days; in that case, you may receive wage benefits from the first work day off the job. You will receive additional money if your injuries include permanent damage to a limb, facial scars, or loss of hearing or eyesight. 

How to access Workers’ Compensation benefits

In order to access your rights and benefits under Workers’ Compensation, you must follow certain procedures. Here is a list and timetable of DOE forms you must file. 

  1. Unless your injury or illness prevents you, immediately notify your chapter leader and principal of any accident or other incident. All accidents should be reported — even if the injury is not obvious or is seemingly inconsequential.
  2. Complete a Comprehensive Injury Report and return it to your principal within 24 hours if it is at all possible.
  3. See a doctor as soon as possible. Make sure to tell the person attending to you that your injury or illness is work-related. Your doctor should provide a doctor's note with a diagnosis of injury and with a potential return-to-work date, if necessary, which you should file with your payroll secretary as soon as possible, and also a C-4 Physician’s Report, which he or she must file with the Workers’ Compensation Board.
  4. Complete a C-3 Employee Claim form, with the assistance of a doctor if necessary, and a C3.3 Limited Release of Health Information (HIPAA) form if there was a previous injury to the same body part(s)and file both with the Workers’ Compensation Board as soon as possible.
  5. If you have been the victim of an assault, complete a UFT Incident Report as soon as possible. You should also file a criminal complaint as soon as possible and contact the UFT Victim Support Program (VSP) at 212-598-6853.
  6. Complete a WCD-23 Employee’s Notice of Injury and file it with your school payroll secretary within 10 days.

In some cases, the New York City Law Department insurance carrier will deny your request for compensation. In such cases, it is necessary to contact the Safety & Health Department at 212-510-6460 for further assistance. You may also need to obtain the services of an attorney.

In the meanwhile, you should apply for disability benefits if you are or will be out of work due to your injuries or illness. You will need to complete a DB 450 Disability Claim form to obtain these benefits.

Answers to some common questions about workers' compensation are available here. Please note that some information may have changed since the last publication.


Other resources


Central Medical Services

Maximum Orthopedics

Northwell Health


Pasternack Tilker Ziegler Walsh Stanton & Romano LLP, Attorneys at Law
Toll-free 24/7 at 800-692-3717