What Disability Benefits Does New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Pay, and for How Long?
If you suffer an accident or illness at work that renders you disabled for any period of time or even permanently, you have a legal remedy. New Jersey law requires employers to provide workers’ compensation insurance coverage, which pays for injured employees’ out of pocket costs regardless of who was at fault for the accident or illness.
If you are hurt or become ill due to a work-related incident or condition, there are several types of workers’ compensation benefits to which you might be entitled. To begin with, your employer’s insurance carrier is required to pay your medical bills, provided your treatment is found to be necessary.
If your job-related injury or illness prevents you from returning to work for at least seven days, you become eligible for temporary disability benefits, usually equal to 70 percent of your wages, although not less than $258 nor more than $969 per week. These benefits will last for no more than 400 weeks, but they will end earlier if you’re able to return to work or if a doctor assigned to evaluate your condition decides that you’ve reached your maximum medical improvement, meaning that further treatment won’t help you get better.
If your doctor evaluates you and determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement, or if your work-related injury has caused you to lose both of your eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet, you will be entitled to permanent total disability benefits. These are equal to what you were entitled to receive in temporary disability benefits. After 450 weeks, you’ll be reevaluated. If you’re still unable to earn as much as you did before your injury, you will continue to receive total permanent disability benefits, but these will be reduced by a proportional amount of what you’re able to earn.
In the alternative, you might be entitled to permanent partial disability benefits if you’re still able to work but have suffered a lasting medical impairment. These benefits consist of wage payments for a certain number of weeks, depending on the nature and seriousness of the impairment.
In a case of death resulting from a work-related injury or illness, the worker’s family will be entitled to as much as $5,000 for funeral expenses and a surviving spouse or minor children will be entitled to a death benefit.
If you suffered a work-related injury or illness but are having difficulty obtaining full workers’ compensation benefits, you should consult with a New Jersey attorney experienced and knowledgeable in this area of law. A skilled attorney can also pursue an appeal if your benefits have been denied in whole or in part.
Kevin T. Kutyla, Esq. in Succasunna helps New Jersey employees injured on the job obtain the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. For a confidential initial consultation, call me at 862-354-8931 or contact me online.