Frequently Asked Questions: Workers' Comp
Knowing the Right Steps to Make for Workers' Comp Claims in New Jersey
Though you may have been aware of the fact that your employer provides workers’ compensation for quite some time, you may have recently discovered that it is not as simple as people have made it out 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.
We at The Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett, Esq., P.C. want you to be equipped with what to do and who to speak to in the event that you are hurt at work, and in order to do so, we’ve compiled a list of commonly asked questions about workers’ compensation and provided insightful answers.
Call our New Jersey workers’ compensation attorneys at (800) 909-8129 if your concern is not addressed here.
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 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.
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
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.
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. Consult an attorney about the steps you may take to help you on the road to recovery.
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 employment where the injury occurred. If you suffered injuries because of your part-time job, you may only collect benefits for that employment.
Are my New Jersey workers' compensation entitlements and benefits taxable?
Under state tax laws, workers' compensation benefits may not be taxed.
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 in order to prevent individuals from fraudulently recovering twice for the same injuries and disabilities.
My injury is preventing me from working. What services are available to help me?
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.
My child was injured 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.
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. Temporary disability benefits are awarded during the time that a worker cannot return to work and is under active medical treatment. The minimum time for this is a period of seven days.
Temporary disability benefits usually end when the worker returns to work in partial or full capacity, or if the worker reaches maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point at which additional medical treatment cannot improve the condition of the injured worker. A worker's benefits may also be ended if they are not improving their health.
Can my health care be terminated while I am unable to work and collecting
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.
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.
If I am injured on the job, may I collect Temporary Disability Insurance
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.
Timeliness of Compensation & Procedures
What is the minimum time I must be out of work to be eligible for workers'
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.
How long should I expect to wait before receiving New Jersey workers compensation
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 as a result of the delay. Delaying a claim for 30 or more days may be considered unreasonable. Take action and discuss your situation with our workers' compensation attorney at The Law Offices of Lloyd. Bennett.
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.
Can I switch doctors if I do not like the doctor that was referred by my
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 take action 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 take action 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.
Representing the Injured Residents 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 that you may obtain some legal information regarding the situation that you face before making any commitment to our firm. Contact us immediately to discuss the situation that you face, and to retain the representation that you need.