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18 January 2024

NY Governor Hochul Proposes Disability Benefits Law (DBL) Benefit Cap Increase

This would be the 1st increase since 1989

NY Governor Hochul Proposes Disability Benefits Law (DBL) Benefit Cap Increase

Understanding the Proposed NY DBL Benefits Cap Increase

As NY Governor Kathy Hochul announced in her 2024 State of the State Address, her now submitted budget proposal includes increased statutory short-term disability benefits provided under the NY Disability Benefits Law (DBL).  If enacted, this amendment to NY DBL would mark the first benefit increase since 1989. The current benefit provides 50% of wages, capped at a fixed $170 per week. The increased benefit amounts would be phased in over 5 years, and will ultimately be tied to the NY State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) to align with NY Paid Family Leave (PFL). For reference, PFL provides 67% of an eligible employee’s average weekly wage, capped at 67% of NY SAWW, which currently comes out to $1,151.16 per week or about 6.8 times the current DBL cap. Learn more here about PFL benefits and benefit calculations.

Watch Governor Hochul’s recent State of the State Address here.

See p. 64 of the proposed fiscal year 2025 Executive Budget here.  

Next steps for the proposed DBL benefit increase to unfold in the coming months

While Governor Hochul highlighted this initiative as part of her Consumer Protection & Affordability Agenda, the proposed budget and amendment still need to be approved by the legislature, and we will know more about progress and details in the coming months.

PFL and Prenatal Care

Additionally, the proposed budget includes an expansion of Paid Family Leave (PFL) to provide up to 40 hours of leave for prenatal appointments that would not count toward the 12 weeks of PFL.

Let us help separate the news from the noise for you – sign up for updates about these potentially big changes for New York’s working families. With a rich 50-year history in the New York statutory disability market and industry leader, rest assured, we’re here to help you be aware early on and prepare for any changes.


Photo Credit:  New York Governor Office FLICKr site 

This material is for informational purposes only; it is not the same as official statements of position contained in the law and/or regulations and is not intended to provide legal counsel or advice. Please consult with an appropriate professional for legal, compliance, HR, tax, or any other specific advice.

Any Disability Benefits Law (DBL) and/or Paid Family Leave (PFL)  information is based on the applicable statutes and regulations, and may change as regulations evolve or NY State issues guidance regarding DBL/PFL law and regulations. In the event of conflicting information with the policy and/or rider(s), the policy and/or rider(s) will take precedence over what is shown in this material. Policies are governed by Article 9 of Workers Compensation Board (WCB) Law (New York State Disability and Paid Family Leave Benefits Law). All DBL/PFL policies are New York-only products and are underwritten by ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company, a NY-domiciled carrier.




«July 2024»

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