FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS: WORKERS’ COMPENSATION
Take the Right Steps for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim in NJ
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It can be difficult to know where to turn after a job-related accident or injury. Serious injuries can leave you unable to work with never ending medical bills and lasting physical injuries.
Why Choose Lloyd Bennett to Handle Your Workers Compensation Claim?
- At the Law Office of Lloyd E. Bennett, PC we have been helping individuals involved in work-related accidents since 1987 fight for their rights.
- We are committed to obtaining the maximum compensation for our clients.
- We can help you file a claim, appeal a denied claim, obtain the medical treatment you need, obtain a second opinion and obtain the temporary wage replacement benefits that you need while you recover from your injuries.
- We offer a free case evaluation.
We’re here to protect your rights as an injured worker! Do not trust that the insurance carrier will do so. Contact us today to discuss your injury. There is no fee unless we win money for you.
Filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim
What is Workers Compensation
Workers’ Compensation is a system created by the New Jersey Legislature that provides benefits to workers who are injured or who contract an occupational disease while working. The benefits include medical care, temporary disability payments, and compensation for a resulting permanent disability. In the event of the death of an injured worker, benefits are payable to the family of the worker. If you have been injured in a work related accident and are seeking legal assistance, contact our office. We can help!
How Does Workers’ Compensation Work in New Jersey?
Employees who were hurt or became ill due to a job-related circumstance may seek medical treatment and temporary or permanent disability benefits through their employers’ workers’ comp insurance carrier. Employees only need to notify the employer immediately of the injury and if medical treatment is needed, the employer and its insurance carrier must provide it.
If your employer refuses to take a report, you should contact our office for assistance. Many employers are reluctant to report claims, as they are afraid that their insurance rates will increase. However, these delays can effect your rights to receive medical treatment and compensation. If your employer is not responding to you, please let us know.
Am I Eligible for Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Who is at fault for your job-related injury or illness is not a factor in determining your eligibility for benefits. Under the NJ Workers’ Compensation Act, you are eligible for workers’ comp benefits as long as you were in scope of your employment regardless as to how the injury occurred.
In some cases there may be confusion as multiple policies of insurance may cover the loss. For example, if you are in a company vehicle and involved in a accident, you may be covered by workers compensation and your personal automobile insurance. These situations are often difficult to figure out and must be reported to the appropriate carrier to protect your rights. If you were hurt while in a vehicle, please call us immediately.
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 soon as possible.
If your employer refuses your request for medical treatment you should contact our office for assistance. Many employers are reluctant to report claims and provide medical care, as they are afraid that their insurance rates will increase. However, a delay in treatment can have serious medical consequences. If your employer is not responding to you, please let us know.
What happens after a claim is reported?
The employer or the employer’s insurance carrier will investigate the claim. If the claim is found compensable, they will pay for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, loss of wages during the period of rehabilitation, and benefits for permanent or temporary disability.
Do I Need a Workers’ Compensation Attorney for My Injury Case?
Yes, you need an attorney. 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 one. 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.
Our office has collected tens of millions of dollars for our clients injured while working. To protect your rights, you must file a claim with the Division of Workers Compensation to collect what is rightly owed to you. The employer’s insurance carrier will not volunteer the benefits you are entitled to. Our case results page notes the types of cases we recover for.
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, let us know.
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 of New Jersey To file a claim and collect all the benefits owed, you must have a lawyer. The employer’s insurance carrier will not fully pay what you are entitled to. 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 you are unable to work you are entitled to 70% of your wages up to a certain cap amount. This is set by New Jersey Law and depends upon the year of the injury. You are also entitled to receive medical treatment for your work related injury. If you are considering filing a claim, contact our office.
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 our office 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. If your child was injured while working legally or illegally, contact our office for help.
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, contact the Law Offices of Lloyd E. Bennett immediately at (866) 761-2239.
Are My New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Entitlements and Benefits Taxable?
Under state tax laws, workers’ compensation benefits may not be taxed.
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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 2022, the most money a person may receive each week is $1065.00. The minimum amount of money a person may receive is $284.
Temporary disability benefits are awarded during the time that a worker cannot return to work and is under active medical treatment.
How Long Can You Receive Workers’ Comp?
To receive payments for lost wages, a person must miss 7+ days of work. Temporary benefits usually end when the worker returns to work in partial or full capacity, or if the worker reaches maximum medical improvement. Workers’ compensation benefits stop after collecting them for 450 weeks, unless otherwise agreed upon.
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 or if their injuries were caused by a third party such as an outside vendor or a machine. Known as personal injury lawsuits, these claims can help workers suffering from severe injuries which require extensive medical care. If you have been hurt through the negligence of another party, call us. We can help!
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 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. Contact us today.
If I am injured on the job, may I collect Temporary Disability Insurance Benefits?
You cannot collect state temporary disability benefits for work-related injuries or illnesses. If you were hurt at work you must collect N.J. workers compensation benefits. 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. If your work related injury claim is disputed, contact us.
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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 with he Division of Workers Compensation 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 450 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. If you have a life long disability, the State of New Jersey second injury fund may become involved and payment could last for life.
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. Call us today.
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 file a Motion for Medical and/or Temporary Disability Benefits. These actions are frequently given high priority and are scheduled within 30 days of filing.
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 and you should contact our office to help.
In addition, the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, offers services 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.
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.
Will I receive a settlement award for my injuries? How are permanent total and partial disability determined?
Payments for injuries in workers compensation cases are called permanent total disability for people who sustain very serious injuries and are unable to return to work or permanent partial disability for other injury types. Payments are based upon a schedule of benefits.
The amount of the award is determined by the workers compensation Judge after treatment has concluded. The Judge will typically review the medical records and the reports, and upon conference with the attorney representing the injured worker and the employer’s attorney, will make a suggestion based upon his or her experience and the NJ disability chart.
Does Workers Compensation provide a death benefit?
When a job-related accident or illness results in the worker’s death, benefits are payable to the dependents of the worker as defined by the law. The weekly benefit payment is 70 percent of wages, but the maximum total benefit payable to all of the worker’s dependents cannot exceed the maximum established annually by the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development.
A surviving spouse or civil union partner and natural children who were part of the decedents household are considered dependents.
The employer or the employer’s insurance carrier is responsible to pay up to $3,500 in funeral expenses for a job-related death. These funds are payable to whomever is liable for the funeral bill, be it the estate or an individual. If you have lost a loved one as a result of a work related accident, call us.
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. We promise you will receive just and proper compensation for your injuries.
WE OFFER A FREE CONSULTATIN FOR INJURY CASES. CONTACT US IMMEDIATELY TO DISCUSS YOUR WORK RELATED INJURY. WE CAN HELP!