New York State laws that set the payments provided to certain injured volunteers have been amended. Chapter 523 of the Laws of 2021 [A- 1324-A; S-1318-A] was signed into law by Governor Kathy Hochul on October 29, 2021. It amends the Volunteer Firefighters Benefit Law § 9 and Volunteer Ambulance Workers Benefit Law § 9 in order to increase the weekly benefits for volunteers injured or rendered ill in the line of duty, such that they are temporarily and totally disabled, on or after July 1, 2021 from four hundred ($400) dollars per week to six hundred fifty ($650) dollars per week.
Temporary total disability is defined under the statutory scheme as existing;
only if the earning capacity of the volunteer firefighter has been lost temporarily and totally as the result of the injury. In case of temporary total disability and permanent partial disability both resulting from the same injury, if the temporary total disability continues for a longer period than the number of weeks set forth in the following schedule, the period of temporary total disability in excess of such number of weeks shall be added to the period provided in section ten of this article: arm, thirty-two weeks; leg, forty weeks; hand, thirty-two weeks; foot, thirty-two weeks; ear, twenty-five weeks; eye, twenty weeks; thumb, twenty-four weeks; first finger, eighteen weeks; great toe, twelve weeks; second finger, twelve weeks; third finger, eight weeks; fourth finger, eight weeks; toe other than great toe, eight weeks. In any case resulting in loss or partial loss of use of arm, leg, hand, foot, ear, eye, thumb, finger or toe, where the temporary total disability does not extend beyond the periods above mentioned for such injury, benefits shall be limited to the schedule contained in section ten of this article. N.Y. Vol. Fire. Ben. Law § 9 (McKinney)