Types of Workers’ Compensation Insurance Benefits
If you are injured on the job or are diagnosed with an occupational illness in New Jersey, the state workers’ compensation law may entitle you to various financial benefits from your employer, regardless of who (if anyone) may have been at fault for your injury or illness. As a worker in New Jersey, it is important to know what kinds of insurance benefits you may be entitled to if you suffer a work-related injury or illness.
First, New Jersey workers’ compensation entitles employees who suffer a work injury or occupational disease to have all reasonable and necessary medical treatment for their injury or illness paid for. This includes hospital services, surgeries, prescription medications, and physical therapy. However, the state workers’ compensation law allows an employer or its workers’ compensation insurer to select the medical providers that will render covered treatment to the employee.
Temporary Disability Benefits
If an employee’s work injury or occupational illness keeps them out of work for at least seven days, they are entitled to receive temporary total disability benefits. These benefits provide an employee with 70 percent of their pre-injury/illness average weekly wage. Benefits are subject to a cap equal to 75 percent of the State Average Weekly Wage, published each year by the state government. Benefits also may not fall below 20 percent of the SAWW.
Temporary total disability benefits typically continue until the employee’s treating physician determines that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement or the point where no further medical treatment is reasonably expected to improve the patient’s injury or illness. However, temporary total disability benefits may not be paid for more than 400 weeks.
Once an employee reaches MMI or hits the 400-week cap, they may be evaluated for a permanent disability or impairment that may entitle them to further workers’ compensation benefits.
Permanent Partial Disability Benefits
An employee who suffers a permanent physical disability or impairment from a work-related injury or illness but can still do some type of gainful employment may be entitled to receive permanent partial disability benefits. Benefits are based on the type and severity of disability suffered by an employee. The state maintains a “schedule” of losses, which calculates benefits for disabilities to certain body parts like arms, hands, legs, feet, or eyes. Benefits may also be paid for “non-scheduled” losses, or impairment of other parts of the body like the back, lungs, or brain.
Permanent partial disability benefits begin upon the termination of temporary total disability benefits. Permanent partial disability benefits are also subject to maximum caps and minimum floors updated annually by the state.
Permanent Total Disability Benefits
If an employee remains totally disabled from performing any form of gainful employment following the expiration of their temporary total disability benefits, they may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits, which pay the same as the employee’s temporary total disability benefits. Permanent total disability benefits are paid for an initial 450-week period but can continue indefinitely thereafter so long as the employee remains unable to return to gainful employment.
Dependents of an employee who passes away from a work injury or occupational illness may be entitled to receive death benefits, which pay 70 percent of the employee’s average weekly wage subject to the state maximum and minimum benefit limits. This benefit payment is divided among the employee’s dependents as determined by a workers’ compensation judge. In addition, the family of a deceased employee can also receive up to $3,500 towards funeral and burial expenses.
Contact a Hazlet Personal Injury Lawyer to Discuss Your Workplace Injury Case in New Jersey
Were you or a loved one injured due to a workplace accident in New Jersey? Don’t let the medical bills pile up while you wait for the negligent party or their insurance company to do the right thing. Right now, you need an aggressive personal injury attorney on your side, fighting to get you the compensation you need, want, and deserve. The skilled attorneys at Drazin and Warshaw, P.C. represent clients injured in Hazlet, Roosevelt, Upper Freehold, Westfield, Fair Haven, and throughout Monmouth County, Union County, Ocean County, and Middlesex County, New Jersey. Call (732) 576-8860 or fill out our online contact form to schedule a free consultation about your case. We have an office conveniently located at 25 Reckless Place, Red Bank, NJ 07701 as well as offices in Hazlet, Westfield, and Brick.
The articles on this blog are for informative purposes only and are no substitute for legal advice or an attorney-client relationship. If you are seeking legal advice, please contact our law firm directly.