Frequently Asked Questions: Workers' Comp
Knowing the Right Steps to Make for Workers' Comp Claims in New Jersey
Though you may have known your employer provides workers’ compensation for quite some time, you may have recently discovered that it is not as simple as it was originally designed to be. There are a lot of factors for all parties involved to consider, but the most important factors are your health and ability to receive the proper treatment you need following your injury.
It can be difficult to know where to turn after a job-related accident or injury. At the Law Office of Lloyd E. Bennett, PC we have been helping individuals involved in work-related accidents since 1987. We can help you obtain the medical treatment you need and the temporary wage replacement benefits that you need while you recover from your injuries. Protect your rights!
Call our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys at (800) 909-8129 to fight for the money you need to recover from your work-related injury.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
What should I do if I have been injured while working in New Jersey?
Notify your employer immediately. Speak with your supervisor or someone else of authority at your work. Notifications do not have to be in writing—however, it may benefit you to have evidence that you notified your employer. If you intend to seek medical treatment for your injuries, this should be requested through your employer, as well.
Do I need a workers’ compensation attorney for my injury case?
Yes, you need an attorney. If you’re visiting this site, have questions about your rights, and have been injured in a New Jersey work-related accident, you may be entitled to collect money by filing a formal claim with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Courts. Only a NJ-licensed lawyer can file a formal claim. If you do not file the formal claim, you will not collect what you are entitled to and your rights to medical treatment may be affected.
Will I lose my job if I file a formal claim with an attorney?
No, it is against the law for an employer to fire someone or discriminate against them for filing a workers’ compensation claim in NJ. If you are fired for filing a claim, you must speak to a workers’ compensation attorney immediately to protect your rights.
What can I do if I was injured in New Jersey and my employer doesn't report my injuries to the insurance carrier?
Generally, you can contact the workers' compensation insurance carrier directly or you can file a claim. Most businesses are required to display proof of insurance at their place of business, but you can also obtain insurance carrier information by contacting the Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau. If you are considering filing a claim for your workers' compensation entitlements, contact our New Jersey workers' compensation attorney.
Who determines the New Jersey workers' compensation benefits I receive?
If your employer is insured, the insurance carrier decides what entitlements you may receive. If your employer is self-insured, then your employer will determine your eligibility after investigating your claim. In either case, if you believe that you have received unfair compensation benefits, you may take legal action to fight for the compensation you deserve by filing a claim with the Division of Workers' Compensation.
Can my employer terminate me while I am out of work because of a New Jersey work-related injury?
According to workers' compensation laws, an employer is prohibited from terminating an employee as retaliation for filing a workers' compensation claim or testifying at a hearing. If your employer terminated you because of your condition, you may be able to file a claim for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act. Discuss your situation with a workers' compensation lawyer in New Jersey to explore your legal options.
I have a full-time and a part-time job. Can I collect New Jersey workers' compensation for both jobs?
Workers' compensation benefits are based on the type of employment a person had when they suffered injuries. If you suffered injuries because of your part-time job, you may only collect benefits for that employment.
My child suffered injuries while working in New Jersey. Is he/she entitled to New Jersey workers compensation benefits?
Generally, minors are entitled to the same workers' compensation benefits as other employees. However, if the minor's employment is in violation of child labor laws, these benefits may be double the normal amount. This includes compensation benefits for temporary and permanent disability, as well as death.
Is workers’ compensation insurance required in New Jersey?
Yes, every employer in the state of New Jersey must have a workers’ compensation insurance policy. If your employer does not have workers’ compensation attorney, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett immediately at (800) 909-8129.
Are my New Jersey workers' compensation entitlements and benefits taxable?
Under state tax laws, workers' compensation benefits may not be taxed.
Contact us now to get answers about your specific case!
Workers’ Compensation Benefits
What benefits may I be entitled to receive?
Injuries and deaths resulting from a work-related incident are grounds for workers' compensation benefits. Your employer insurance must pay for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, loss of wages during your period of disability, and benefits for your permanent disability. To ensure your rights are fully protected contact The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. today.
How much can I collect for lost wages?
Usually, temporary disability benefits are awarded at a rate of 70% of the worker's average weekly wage but they are capped each year. As of 2019, the most money a person may receive each week is $921. The minimum amount of money a person may receive is $246.
Temporary disability benefits are awarded during the time that a worker cannot return to work and is under active medical treatment. However, to receive payments for lost wages, a person must miss at least seven days of work. Temporary disability benefits usually end when the worker returns to work in partial or full capacity, or if the worker reaches maximum medical improvement. Additionally, a person will stop receiving workers' compensation benefits after collecting them for 400 weeks.
Is workers’ compensation my only opportunity for recovery?
Making a workers’ compensation claim is not the best option. In some instances, a person’s needs may extend beyond the compensation provided by a workers’ compensation claim. A person can sue their employer if negligence played a significant role in their injury. Known as personal injury lawsuits, these claims can help workers suffering from severe injuries which require extensive medical care.
Can I still collect New Jersey workers' compensation benefits if I recover money from a third party?
Workers' compensation is intended to allow you to return to the state you were in before an injury occurred. Collecting twice for the same injury gives you an unintended and unfair advantage. If you have recovered benefits from a third party, workers' compensation laws allow employer insurance carriers to receive credit to prevent individuals from fraudulently recovering twice for the same injuries and disabilities.
In some cases, workers can file a lawsuit against third parties. If a third party such as a contractor, another driver, or a defective product caused your work-related injury, then you may be able to file a personal injury claim against that party.
If I am injured on the job, may I collect Temporary Disability Insurance Benefits?
State temporary disability benefits laws do not allow individuals to collect compensation for work-related injuries or illnesses. However, if a workers' compensation claim is contested by the insurance carrier, you may be able to collect Temporary Disability Insurance pending a resolution of a workers' compensation claim.
Compensation Amounts & Time Limits
What is the minimum time I must be out of work to be eligible for workers' compensation?
To receive temporary disability benefits, you must be unable to work for seven days, consecutive or non-consecutive. These benefits are awarded retroactively, so you may receive compensation for the seven days prior to becoming eligible. There is no waiting period for receiving benefits for medical treatment or permanent disability.
How much time do I have to file a workers' compensation claim?
The statute of limitations requires that workers' compensation claims be filed within two years after the incident or last payment of compensation. For occupational illnesses such as asbestosis, hearing loss, or lead poisoning, claims must be filed within two years after the date that the individual first becomes aware of the condition's relationship to his or her employment. Payment of compensation includes medical treatment that an employer authorizes for an injured worker.
Is there a time limit on workers’ compensation benefits?
Yes, those who receive temporary disability benefits can only do so for 400 weeks maximum. If a person’s temporary disability benefits are about to end, they can apply for permanent disability. Permanent disability is classified in two ways: permanent total disability and permanent partial disability. Permanent total disability benefits have the potential to last for the rest of a person’s life. Permanent partial disability benefits last for 600 weeks.
How long should I expect to wait before receiving New Jersey workers compensation benefits?
Generally, individuals may wait two weeks to receive their benefits. However, if an employer or insurance carrier unreasonably delays or denies a claim, they may be held liable for an additional 25% of the amounts owed, along with legal fees incurred because of the delay. Delaying a claim for 30 or more days may be considered unreasonable.
A judge has awarded me New Jersey workers compensation disability benefits. When will I receive them?
By law, workers' compensation insurance carriers have 60 days to process the payment. After 60 days, you may be entitled to receive simple interest for the delay. In most cases, you may expect to receive your initial benefit payment in 6-8 weeks following the judge's order.
However, if an employer or insurance carrier unreasonably delays or denies a claim, they may be held liable for an additional 25% of the amounts owed, along with legal fees incurred because of the delay. Delaying a claim for 30 or more days may be considered unreasonable.
Does workers' compensation provide for increases in the cost of living?
In most cases, the only persons eligible for increased cost of living benefits are permanently disabled workers and the dependents of deceased workers whose date of injury or death occurred before January 1, 1980. For individuals receiving temporary disability benefits, whether total or partial, there are no eligibilities for cost of living increase benefits.
Can my health care be terminated while I am unable to work and collecting benefits?
While there are no laws preventing an employer from discontinuing health care coverage while an employee is unable to work, the Federal Family Medical Leave Act provides some protections to disabled workers. However, these protections are not in the jurisdiction of workers' compensation courts. If your healthcare was terminated, then you need the help of a New Jersey workers' compensation attorney.
Can I switch doctors if I do not like the doctor that was referred by my employer's insurance?
Workers' compensation law gives employers authority to choose the health service professionals that provide care to their injured workers. However, if your employer refuses or neglects to provide reasonable medical services, you may act with a Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits. These actions are frequently given high priority and are scheduled within 30 days of filing. To help ensure the process goes smoothly, consult with The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett.
The statute gives the employer the authority to select the health service professionals to provide care to an injured worker. However, if the employer refuses or neglects to provide services reasonable and necessary to cure and relieve the worker of the effects of the injury or restore function where possible, the employee may act by filing a Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits through an experienced workers' compensation lawyer in New Jersey like Lloyd Bennett, Esq. These proceedings are given a very high priority and are scheduled before a judge within 30 days of the proper filing of the motion.
My doctor released me for light duty work, but none is available. What can I do?
If you have not yet returned to work, but you are still receiving medical treatment for your injuries, then you may continue to collect temporary disability benefits up to the date of maximum medical improvement if you are unable to return to work in full capacity after this date, whether because of your injuries or because of your employer, you may need to take further legal action.
Through the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, there are a few services available for retraining and employment. The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services helps individuals who have trouble finding employment because of their disabilities. They also help individuals whose present employment may be endangered because of their disability. Consult an attorney about the steps you may take to help you on the road to recovery.
What is maximum medical improvement?
Maximum medical improvement is the point at which additional medical treatment cannot improve the condition of an injured worker. For instance, a person who has been paralyzed from the waist down would not expect to recover from their paralysis, so maximum medical improvement wouldn't include the spinal injury. Maximum medical improvement is one of the measurements that determines if a person will be able to collect benefits.
How are permanent total and partial disability determined?
Permanent total disability is determined by the claimant's doctor. If a doctor determines that a person is permanently disabled, then they can continue to collect benefits.
Certain injuries are labeled by New Jersey as scheduled losses. If a person’s injuries are present on the state’s scheduled loss chart, then they will continue to receive benefits for the amount of time listed on the chart. The maximum amount of time for scheduled losses is 600 weeks.
Representing Injured Workers of New Jersey Since 1987
Our firm has been defending the rights of employees injured while working in New Jersey since 1987. With nearly three decades of experience handling these claims. We promise you will receive proper compensation for your injuries. We have recovered tens of millions of dollars in damages for our clients.
We offer a free case evaluation so you can get some answers regarding your case before making any commitment. Contact us immediately to discuss your situation and to retain the representation that you need.