Workers’ Compensation


Workers’ compensation coverage is a type of insurance designed to protect an individual injured in the course of conducting duties for the employer by providing medical expenses and a percentage of lost wages. Generally, when an individual is covered through workers’ compensation the individual is not able to sue the employer for negligence.

See the Student Injuries policy description for more details.


Workers’ compensation coverage is available for funded graduate students injured while performing duties on behalf of Cornell (funded on assistantship, fellowship, or hourly wage).

Medical expense coverage

Typically, all medical expenses are covered.

Short term stipend replacement

Stipend (or hourly wage) replacement at 100% of your current stipend (or hourly wage) would typically be covered for up to a 13-week period from the date of the claim, depending on the length of the recovery period.  

Long term stipend compensation

A New York state administrative law judge will review the claim and make a determination on any further compensation after the short-term stipend replacement period is over. Any additional benefits from that point forward typically would be based on the Workers’ Compensation schedule established by the State.

Claim process

  1. Seek medical attention.
  2. As soon as you are able, file a university injury report (using the Injury/Illness/Exposure Reporting Form). (You may have someone else help you do this if needed.)
  3. Cornell’s Environmental Health and Safety (EHS) Department is the initial contact for when you submit a university injury report
  4. If the injury is marked as work-related, a copy of the online injury report will trigger the workers’ compensation coverage review and submission process, which is coordinated by Medical Leaves Administration.
  5. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life who will contact you to offer support and help identify and engage resources across campus who can assist.


Any appeals must be directed to the New York State Workers’ Compensation Board, as governed by New York State Workers’ Compensation law. Individuals covered under workers’ compensation are barred by law from suing the employer (here, the university) for monetary damages arising from their injuries.

See the Workers’ Compensation FAQ for more details.


Graduate Student Assistantships, Policy 1.3 
Office of Student Health Benefits
Cornell Disability Services Office
Health Leave of Absence


Janna Lamey
Senior Assistant Dean for Graduate Student Life