NEW YORK STATE ASSEMBLY MEMORANDUM IN SUPPORT OF LEGISLATION submitted in accordance with Assembly Rule III, Sec 1(f)
BILL NUMBER: A1034B
TITLE OF BILL:
An act to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to attorney's
Authorizes workers' compensation board to award representation fees
commensurate with services rendered.
SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:
Sections one amends section 24 of the workers' compensation law as
amended by chapter 494 of the law of 1950 to authorize and approves the
schedule and amounts of compensation awarded commensurate with the
Section two sets forth the effective date.
Far too often, low-income, injured workers are left without proper legal
representation because of fees awarded for legal representation does not
reflect the true amount of services rendered. This legislation is
designed to correct that bias.
None to the state
PRIOR LEGISLATIVE HISTORY:
A668 of 2019-20: referred to Labor A8606 of 2017-18: referred to Labor
This act will take effect immediately.
STATE OF NEW YORK
2021-2022 Regular Sessions
January 7, 2021
Introduced by M. of A. BRONSON, JACOBSON -- read once and referred to
the Committee on Labor -- committee discharged, bill amended, ordered
reprinted as amended and recommitted to said committee -- again
reported from said committee with amendments, ordered reprinted as
amended and recommitted to said committee
AN ACT to amend the workers' compensation law, in relation to attorney's
The People of the State of New York, represented in Senate and Assem-bly, do enact as follows:
1 Section 1. Section 24 of the workers' compensation law, as amended by
2 chapter 494 of the laws of 1950, is amended to read as follows:
3 § 24. Costs and fees. 1. If the court before which any proceedings for
4 compensation or concerning an award of compensation have been brought,
5 under this chapter, determine that such proceedings have not been so
6 brought upon reasonable ground, it shall assess the cost of the
7 proceedings upon the party who has so brought them.
8 2. Claims of attorneys and counselors-at-law for legal services in
9 connection with any claim arising under this chapter, and claims for
10 services or treatment rendered or supplies furnished pursuant to subdi-
11 vision (b) of section thirteen of this [chapter] article, shall not be
12 enforceable unless approved by the board. [If] The board shall approve
13 such application in an amount commensurate with the services rendered
14 and the amount of compensation awarded, having due regard for the finan-
15 cial state of the claimant in accordance with each applicable provision
16 of the following schedule:
17 (a) When an award is made directing the continuation of weekly compen-
18 sation benefits for temporary total or partial disability, the attor-
19 ney's fee shall be one-third of one week's compensation.
20 (b) When an award is made that increases the amount of compensation
21 awarded or paid for a previous period or periods of temporary total or
EXPLANATION--Matter in italics (underscored) is new; matter in brackets
 is old law to be omitted.
A. 1034--B 2
1 partial disability, the attorney's fee shall be fifteen percent of the
2 increased compensation.
3 (c) When an award is made for schedule loss of use or permanent facial
4 disfigurement pursuant to paragraphs a through t of subdivision three of
5 section fifteen of this article, the attorney's fee shall be fifteen
6 percent of the compensation due in excess of the employer or carrier's
7 previous payments.
8 (d) When an award is made for permanent total disability pursuant to
9 subdivision one of section fifteen of this article or permanent partial
10 disability pursuant to paragraph w of subdivision three of section
11 fifteen of this article, the attorney's fee shall be equivalent to
12 fifteen percent of the compensation due in excess of the employer or
13 carrier's previous payments, plus a sum equivalent to fifteen weeks of
14 compensation at the rate fixed by the board.
15 (e) When an award is made for death benefits pursuant to section
16 sixteen of this article, the attorney's fee shall be equivalent to
17 fifteen percent of the compensation due in excess of the employer or
18 carrier's previous payments, plus a sum equivalent to fifteen weeks of
19 compensation at the rate fixed by the board.
20 (f) When an award is made pursuant to section thirty-two of this arti-
21 cle, the attorney's fee shall be fifteen percent of any benefits to be
22 paid by the employer or carrier under the agreement. However, if the
23 attorney has previously been awarded a fee pursuant to this subdivision,
24 any un-accrued balance of any attorney fees under the foregoing para-
25 graphs shall be waived.
26 3. When so approved, such claim or claims shall become a lien upon the
27 compensation awarded, and upon any moneys ordered paid under an award by
28 the board into the special funds provided for in subdivision nine of
29 section fifteen[, subdivision nine,] and section twenty-five-a of this
30 article, and any other section of this chapter, but shall be paid there-
31 from only in the manner fixed by the board. Any other person, firm or
32 corporation who shall exact or receive fee or gratuity for any services
33 rendered on behalf of a claimant except in an amount determined by the
34 board, shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. Any person, firm or corporation
35 who shall solicit the business of appearing before the board on behalf
36 of a claimant, or who shall make it a business to solicit employment for
37 a lawyer in connection with any claim for compensation under this chap-
38 ter shall be guilty of a misdemeanor. In case an award is affirmed upon
39 an appeal to the appellate division, the same shall be payable with
40 interest thereon from the date when said award was made by the board
41 except as provided in section twenty-seven of this [chapter] article.
42 § 2. This act shall take effect immediately.