In the aftermath of a work-related injury in New Jersey, you may have mounting expenses and little or no income. It’s important to know what types of disability benefits pursuant to a New Jersey workers’ compensation filing.
Workers’ Compensation Disability Payments in New Jersey
In New Jersey, the workers’ compensation laws don’t technically call for benefits for lost wages. Instead, when you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you can seek “disability payments,” which may be either temporary or permanent. Practically speaking, though, the determination of the amount of benefits looks the same as it does in other states—there’s a calculation of your average weekly wage, and you can receive up to 70% of that amount, based on your degree of disability. The law also sets a cap on the weekly amount that will be paid.
Temporary disability benefits are paid in New Jersey until you return to your job or reach “maximum medical improvement.” Temporary disability benefits are paid for a maximum of 400 weeks. Once you’ve attained maximum medical improvement, you can be examined by a doctor to determine if you qualify for payments for a permanent disability.
If the workers’ compensation judge determines that you are permanently and totally disabled, you can receive your full disability payment as long as you are disabled (and even for life), but you’ll need to have your permanent disability status confirmed by a physician on a regular basis. If your disabilities are permanent, but only partial, you will still be entitled to benefits, which will be calculated either as a schedule or as a non-schedule loss.
A schedule loss is a permanent disability involving certain body parts, such as arms, legs, hands, feet, fingers, toes, eyes and teeth. It’s referred to as a schedule loss because the law includes a specific “schedule” that identifies the number of weeks of benefits you will receive for the specific type of injury. Once you have proven an injury to a specific body part, the workers’ compensation judge will “rate” your injury, a method for determining the extent to which your permanent injury limits your capabilities. You’ll be entitled to the full amount of benefits per week, but the number of weeks will be reduced by the percentage of your disability. For example, if an injury entitles you to 300 weeks, but you are only considered 75% disabled, you will only receive benefits for 225 weeks.
Contact Our Office
For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 973-993-8787. We have office locations in Morristown and Newton, but will visit you in your home or the hospital, if necessary. We take all personal injury claims on a contingency basis. You will not incur legal fees unless attorney Popper recovers compensation for your losses.