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Dan Deuterman
Dan Deuterman
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NY workers' comp reform won't help those already collecting benefits

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New York Gov. Elliot Spitzer is being applauded for reforming the workers’ compensation system in his state.

The reforms are being characterized as a win for both employers and their employees and have been lauded by businesses and labor unions alike.

The new law increases the maximum benefit payouts while limiting the amount of time employees can collect payments for partial disability, like a bad back. There are also provisions for offering retraining to people with such injuries.

But guess who gets left out? Those people who are already collecting workers’ compensation benefits. The increase in benefit payouts is not retroactive, as a recent article from the Times Union newspaper in Albany, N.Y., explains. It only applies to people who are injured after July 1 of this year, not the 150.000-plus New Yorkers currently collecting workers’ compensation benefits.