First and foremost workers’ compensation in New Jersey covers the medical expenses related to a work injury. This includes hospital visits and rehabilitation, if needed. However, an injured employee may not be able to return to work right away. After a serious incident, the injured employee could be medically or physically restricted from working for a very long time.
An inability to work has serious financial implications, and after medical treatment is obtained this becomes the biggest concern for most workers. To address these concerns, the workers’ compensation law in New Jersey provides a mechanism for injured workers to obtain benefits that replace some of their normal income. Most employees do not understand how disability benefits are distributed or determined, but they should.
The Different Types of Disability Benefits
New Jersey workers’ compensation law provides for two different types of disability benefits. Permanent disability benefits cover a workplace injury that will have a lasting effect on the person’s ability to work. As an employee goes through the workers’ compensation process a doctor will evaluate and treat the injury.
Eventually, a medical professional will determine that the employee has reached maximum medical improvement. If an injury or illness has last effects on the ability to work after maximum medical improvement, that employee is likely entitled to permanent disability benefits.
As the name would suggest, temporary disability benefits are paid to workers who will eventually experience a full recovery of his or her injury but are unable to work for a certain period of time. As with permanent disability, temporary disability under workers compensation can be for a partial or total disability; the difference is based on the severity of the injury and overall affect it has on the capacity to work.
Medical benefits under New Jersey worker’s compensation can be paid immediately to an employee. However, an injured employee must be unable to work for seven days before he or she is entitled to temporary disability benefits. After this time, the employee can and should collect temporary disability benefits as long as he or she is unable to work and receiving medical attention.
Calculating Temporary Disability Benefits
While temporary disability benefits are paid as a replacement to normal income and lost wages, this benefit does not require employers or their insurance providers to pay the same amount as an employee’s normal income. Instead, New Jersey workers’ compensation law includes a rough formula for calculating the amount of disability payments.
Temporary disability benefits are typically calculated as 70% of the individual’s usual weekly income. This percentage is regardless of whether the injury is for partial or total disability. As well, the law imposes minimum and maximum amounts. In New Jersey these amounts are set at $896.00 as a maximum weekly amount and $239.00 as a minimum weekly amount for 2017. Therefore, a claim for temporary disability will fall within these amounts, up to 70% of the employee’s normal weekly wage.
Speak with a Lawyer about Disability Benefits
To receive more information on temporary disability benefits or if you have questions regarding an insurance provider’s determination of temporary benefits, contact a qualified workers’ compensation lawyer. Albert J. Talone provides knowledgeable and personal representation for workers’ compensation claims and questions in New Jersey. To schedule your initial consultation, contact our office at