In New Jersey, the employees may seek benefits for their injuries and illnesses. However, the sole remedy is to file a workers’ compensation claim. Workers may receive wage compensation while off from work, payments of medical expenses, and disability benefits.
Workers’ compensation is no-fault insurance that employers must carry to cover their employees’ workplace or work-related injuries and illnesses. The employee or insurer reviews the claim for approval or denial. If the worker disagrees with the decision, he has two years from the date of the injury or discovery of the illness to file a formal claim with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. The employee must notify the employer of the job-related incident within the required time limit. Failure to meet the deadline bars the claim forever.
An average of 70,000 employees suffer nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses in New Jersey. The accidents and diseases range from minor to severe, which may cause employees to miss days from work. The injured or ill workers may need medical care with their treating physician diagnosing them with varying degrees of disabilities.
An employee may have a permanent or temporary disability which can be total or partial. A temporary partial disability occurs when the employee cannot work at his pre-accident level for a length of time but may have the ability to do tasks in a reduced capacity. When a worker has a temporary total disability, he cannot work in any capacity for a specific time.
Eligibility for temporary disability workers’ compensation benefits begins when the employee’s job-related injury disables him for more than seven days. The worker receives the disability benefits until he can return to work or reaches the maximum weeks of payment. Workers’ compensation calculates temporary benefits as 70% of the worker’s wage at the time of the injury or illness. If the employer or insurance carrier receives notice of the employee’s temporary disability status and delays or refuses payment, the employee may receive an additional 25% of the amount due.