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The New York Independent Livery Driver Benefit Fund was created in order to solve the decades old problem of whether and how to provide workers' compensation benefits to livery drivers. The Purpose of the Livery Fund is to provide workers' compensation benefits, under certain circumstances, to livery drivers who operate vehicles that receive dispatches from livery bases that are members of the Fund.

On July 26, 2008, Governor David Paterson signed legislation that created the New York Independent Livery Driver Benefit Fund. The Livery Fund provides Workers' compensation Benefits for serious injuries and crimes committed against drivers dispatched by qualifying independent livery bases in New York City, Westchester and Nassau. Effective January 1, 2010, in order to obtain, renew or retain a license, each base must provide their TLC with proof of a Workers' Compensation policy for its drivers or a certificate that they are a member of the Livery Fund.


This law addressed perennial problems in terms of workers' compensation coverage being available to livery drivers. It created a process for livery bases to be designated as "independent," by attesting that they meet certain criteria typically looked to by the Workers' Compensation Board to determine that a livery base is not an employer. These criteria include allowing affiliated livery drivers to set their own hours and days of work, select their own clothing, and maintain their own cars. These independent livery bases must pay into a fund that will provide a limited workers' compensation benefit to independent livery drivers, to which such drivers would not be entitled to as independent contractors. In particular, such benefits will be provided in cases of death, injury from a crime involving a police report, the amputation or loss of an arm, leg, hand, foot, multiple fingers, index finger, multiple toes, ear, or nose; paraplegia or quadriplegia; or total and permanent blindness or deafness. These drivers would receive greater benefits then they would as independent contractors, while the bases would pay less than they would if deemed employers. In sum, the law reflects a tradeoff to address many of the problems that have beset the workers' compensation system in the livery industry. Bases receive certainty as to their obligations under the workers' compensation law. In exchange, they must pay into a fund to insure that severely injured drivers have adequate benefits under certain defined circumstances

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