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- New Jersey Workers' Compensation Benefits
A worker or their dependant relatives can recover workers’ compensation benefits for a work-related injury or death. The employer or their insurance companies covers costs for medical treatment, lost wages during recovery and when documented, permanent disability benefits. If the employee is injured while the company does not have workers’ compensation insurance, application for medical and temporary benefits can be submitted to the Division’s Uninsured Employers Fund.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law provides:
Medical Benefits: The insurance company must cover all necessary and reasonable costs for medical treatment, prescriptions and hospitalization services if the employee was injured at work. The employer has the authority to select the treating physician for all job-related injuries. However, if the employer refuses to provide medical treatment or if an emergency exists, the worker has the right to select their own doctor. In these situations, the injured employee should inform their employer as soon as possible about the treatment.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits: If the employee cannot return to work within seven days, he or she can receive temporary total workers' compensation benefits at a rate of 70% of their average weekly wage. However, the amount cannot exceed 75% or fall below 20% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). Temporary Total Disability Benefits continue as long as the employee is unable to return to work and is under medical care.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits typically end when the employee returns to work or reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI is met when additional treatment will no longer improve the worker’s injury. In some cases, these workers may suffer partial or total permanent injuries, which will be discussed in the following sections.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits: When a work-related injury or illness results in a partial permanent disability, compensation is based upon a percentage of “scheduled” or “non-scheduled” losses. A “scheduled” loss involves the feet, toes, legs, arms, fingers, hands, teeth, eyes or ears; “non-scheduled” loss typically involved certain areas of the body not specifically outlined in the schedules, such as the back or lungs. Permanent Partial Disability Benefits are paid on a weekly basis after temporary disability benefits cease.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits: When a job-related injury or illness prevents an employee from returning to gainful employment, Permanent Total Disability Benefits are offered. These benefits are provided for a period of 450 weeks. If after this time period, the employee proves they still cannot earn wages, benefits will continue. Paid weekly, Permanent Total Disability Benefits typically equal 70% of the worker’s average weekly wage, not to exceed 75% or fall below 20% of the SAWW.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits are usually offered when an injured employee has lost two major body parts or a combination of the eyes, legs, feet, hands or arms. However, these benefits are also available for workers whose injuries render them unemployable.
Death Benefits: When an individual dies from a work-related illness or injury, death benefits are provided to the worker’s dependant relatives. Death benefits typically equal 70% of the deceased worker’s weekly wage, not to exceed the maximum benefit, which changes annually. These benefits are then divided by living dependents.
If you or a loved one was injured at work, fill out our free case review form on the right. Our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys can help ensure you get the benefits you need to support your family during recovery. Contact us today for a free case evaluation.