After years of stalemates and false starts, New York leaders yesterday announced a far-reaching deal to overhaul the state?s much-criticized workers? compensation system by significantly increasing the weekly benefits that go to injured workers while cracking down on employers who cheat the system. Lawmakers have long described the workers? compensation system in New York as an unfathomable mess, with insurance premiums that are among the nation?s highest even while worker benefits are very low. The maximum weekly benefit an injured worker can receive is $400, an amount that has not been increased for 15 years even as injured workers complained that it relegated them to a life of poverty. Under the deal, the maximum benefit will rise to $650 by 2010.