If You’re Injured or Ill at Work

What you need to know

Supplemental workers’ compensation (SWC) benefits provide additional income if you become sick or are injured while working. These benefits supplement those payable under state workers’ compensation laws. SWC coverage begins when you start working in covered employment; coverage ends when your covered employment ends.

If it’s work-related, your medical plan doesn’t cover it

Your personal medical plan coverage does not extend to on-the-job illnesses and injuries. Be sure your employer files a written workers’ compensation report if you get sick or hurt at work.

SWC eligibility

To be eligible to collect SWC benefits, you must meet these three requirements:

  • Be working under an Actors’ Equity contract that requires contributions to the Fund for SWC on your behalf at the time of your illness or injury.
  • Be unable to work due to a work-related illness or injury.
  • Apply for and be eligible for state workers’ compensation benefits.

How it works

Notifying your employer
Notifying your employer is essential. If you become ill or injured on the job, report the incident to your employer’s designated representative (such as Company Manager, General Manager, or human resources department) immediately—even if you don’t incur any medical bills or miss time at work.
How much you’ll receive
The SWC benefit is 100% of your weekly salary, up to a maximum of 75% of the Actors’ Equity Production Contract minimum weekly salary, at the time of the injury.

The SWC benefit is reduced by any amount that is payable under the applicable workers’ compensation or occupational disease laws for the state in which you are working.

How long you receive payment
You receive SWC benefits only while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits—generally up to 104 weeks. During those weeks, you are considered disabled if you are unable to perform your usual occupation (for example, acting, singing, or dancing).

Your SWC benefits can be extended if you continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits after 104 weeks or if workers’ compensation determines that you are totally disabled and unable to work in any occupation for which you are reasonably qualified.


SWC benefits are considered taxable wages, subject to voluntary federal income tax withholding. The Fund office will send you an IRS Form W-4S (Request for Federal Income Tax Withholding from Federal Sick Pay).

You may elect or decline to have taxes withheld from your SWC benefits, but if you don’t return the form to the Fund Office, federal taxes will not be withheld, and you will be responsible for any applicable tax liability.

The benefit is subject to Social Security and Medicare taxes for the first six months; your share of these taxes will be deducted from the payment you receive.

At the end of the calendar year, total SWC payments made to you that year will be reported to you and the IRS on an IRS Form W-2.

The SWC plan does not cover time away from work due to a suicide attempt, an act of war, or air travel, unless you are traveling as a passenger during necessary travel time.

How to file a claim

Take the following steps to file an SWC claim. For additional details, contact your business rep at Actors’ Equity.

  1. Immediately report the work-related illness or injury to your employer’s designated representative.
  2. Confirm that your employer has completed a written workers’ compensation report that explains how you were hurt on the job.
  3. Print out a copy of the SWC plan claim forms (available from any Actors’ Equity office).
  4. Get the name and address of your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and give it to your physician.
  5. Once you and your attending physician have completed your claim form, submit it to the Actors’ Equity office.
  6. Provide the Actors’ Equity office with copies of all workers’ compensation benefit checks and accompanying explanations of benefits (EOBs). (This last step is required because SWC plan benefits are adjusted to reflect your workers’ compensation benefits.)


Equity-League Benefit Funds Office

(212) 869-9380
(800) 344-5220 (outside NYC)
Health Fax: (212) 869-3323
401(k) and Pension Fax: (212) 869-1824

Actors’ Equity Association

National Headquarters
(212) 869-8530
Fax: (212) 719-9815