While health and safety regulations over the past years have made U.S. work places safer, work-related accidents, injuries, and illnesses still occur. Some job sites have higher rates of injuries and illnesses than others, such as construction and industrial sites where workers are subject to various factors such as falling debris, work done at great heights, potential explosions, toxic fumes, and more. However, even in less risky workplaces, workers can suffer falls, repetitive stress injuries, and illnesses caused by the work environment and the specific job done.
Workers’ Compensation Benefits in New Jersey
When suffering an injury or illness while performing job duties, New Jersey employees are generally entitled to workers’ compensation benefits as established by state law. These benefits are part of the state’s no-fault insurance program that all businesses must have with only a few exceptions. Benefits are available through the workers’ compensation claims process. If you need legal assistance with making a claim or if your claim has been denied, Davé Law Firm can help.
According to the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, workers’ compensation benefits can include:
- Medical benefits. These include “all necessary and reasonable medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospitalization services” that relate to the injury or illness you have sustained. You are generally limited to medical professionals authorized by your employer.
- Temporary total disability benefits. These are paid when you have become disabled for more than seven days. These generally consist of temporarily being compensated at 70 percent of average weekly gross wages while you are getting medical treatment and unable to work. They cease when you return to work “in some capacity” or when no further improvement is likely with additional treatment, known as maximum medical improvement. They are available only up to 400 weeks.
- Permanent partial benefits. Should you still have a partial permanent disability after your temporary benefits cease, this benefit will kick in. This compensation is based on the type of disability you have suffered and generally cover up to 70 percent of gross weekly wages.
- Permanent total benefits. This is provided for those who have suffered a permanent disability that prevents any further work. 450 weeks of compensation is provided initially and may continue past that where the individual shows a continued inability to work.
- Death benefits. These apply to the families of workers who have died from a work-related injury or illness. It generally applies to surviving spouses and children and can include funeral costs and up to 70 percent of the deceased’s weekly wage.
It is important to understand that you should notify your employer when suffering an injury or illness while on the job. This should be done as soon as possible, especially if you need medical care. It is generally up to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer to determine whether you are eligible to obtain benefits.
If you are denied, you have the right to file a claim petition or an application for an informal hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. It is highly recommended that you retain an attorney to increase your chances of success in these disputes. At Davé Law Firm, our legal team has helped numerous clients in obtaining the workers’ compensation benefits they needed and deserved.
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