New York, NY – The New York State Insurance Fund (NYSIF) recently announced the results of its 18-month-long effort to bolster enrollment in direct deposit and fast-track workers’ compensation and disability benefit payments, helping injured workers gain quicker access to their benefits and saving them money.
“When a worker suffers an injury, it is often a life-altering event that breeds uncertainty and anxiety for them and their families,” said Gaurav Vasisht, Executive Director and CEO of NYSIF. “NYSIF’s campaign to enroll injured workers in direct deposit and deliver faster payments helps workers struggling to stay afloat, easing them toward greater financial stability and reducing their reliance on payday lending, check cashing, and bank overdraft fees, which strip billions from workers each year and contribute to income inequality.”
Launched 18 months ago, NYSIF’s program involves two key components. First, at the onset of a claim, NYSIF informs injured workers about the advantages of direct deposit, including receiving benefits faster, as well as the convenience of avoiding a trip to the bank. Second, the initiative speeds up direct deposit payments, which could take several days to clear, by using same-day ACH, giving workers access to benefits within 24 hours of payment instead of several days.
Since the program began, NYSIF has issued approximately 778,000 faster payments to workers and beneficiaries, and its direct deposit enrollment has jumped 46%. The initiative has enabled tens of thousands of injured workers to access their benefits quickly instead of waiting an average of 7 to 10 days for a mailed paper check to arrive and clear once deposited. Workers previously enrolled in direct deposit also benefit from the initiative, receiving their funds up to three days sooner through same-day ACH.
Mario Cilento, President of the New York State AFL-CIO, said “Workers’ compensation is a lifeline to injured workers and their families, who simply can’t afford unnecessary delay in the delivery of desperately needed wage replacement. We commend NYSIF, and its highly-skilled union workforce, for once again innovating and setting an example for the industry on how to deliver benefits to injured workers as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
The results announced today are part of NYSIF’s broader effort to accelerate workers’ receipt of benefits and access to essential claims information. It comes four months after the launch of NYSIF’s claim mobile app, which enables injured workers with a smartphone to instantly access claims information, including the status of their check, claim managers’ contact information, virtual prescription cards, upcoming appointments, and a link to enroll in direct deposit.
Since its launch, the app has been downloaded more than 4,000 times, with more workers signing on daily. Injured workers without smartphones continue to access traditional methods of communication, including telephone and email. NYSIF’s faster payments and mobile app allow it to serve injured workers more effectively.