Millions of Americans get hurt at work and sustain injuries. With this in mind, it's important that businesses do their part to protect everyone in the organization — from the owners and the executives to the general workers.
In New Jersey, there is also added protection for employees who encounter a work-related injury, and these guidelines are defined under workers' compensation law.
In this article, learn more about NJ workers' compensation and its benefits to employers and employees.
Who Is Covered Under The NJ Workers' Compensation Law?
Under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law, all employers in the state of New Jersey are required to provide workers' compensation to their employees. The only industries exempt from this rule are those covered by federal programs.
In the workers' comp system, workers who contract occupational diseases while working or sustain an injury on the job will receive benefits. However, it is important to remember that only employees will be covered, and claims are not accessible for independent contractors.
In cases where the definition of being an employee is unclear, an employee or employer may work with a workers' compensation attorney.
Finally, it is crucial to define workers' compensation as a no-fault system. This means that employees are not required to prove that the employer was at fault for receiving illness or disability benefits.
What Are The Benefits Of NJ Workers' Compensation For Eligible Workers?
In New Jersey, there are benefits that an employee may receive if they get injured in a work accident. These workers' compensation benefits include the following:
1. Medical Benefits
The employer's insurance carrier will pay for workers' necessary medical treatment, prescriptions, and hospital services for work-related injuries.
2. Temporary Total Benefits
If a worker's injury leads them to be disabled for seven days or more, they will receive temporary workers' compensation benefits retroactive to the first day of lost time. The rate for the payment will be 70% of the average weekly wage, up to a maximum of 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage, but not lower than 20%.
Once the worker is determined to have reached maximum medical improvement, these benefits will be determined.
3. Permanent Partial Benefits
If the injury, illness, or disability results in a permanent bodily impairment, workers' compensation benefits will be provided based on the extent of the functional loss. These benefits will be paid weekly after the end of the temporary disability benefits.
4. Permanent Total Benefits
If the workplace accident leads to an illness, injury, or disability that will hinder the worker from returning to work, the employee will be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. Initially, the limits of the benefit last for 450 weeks. After this period, the workers' compensation claim may be extended if they prove their condition remains.
5. Death Benefits
In the event that a workplace incident leads to the death of a worker, their dependents are entitled to receive weekly death benefits of up to 70% of the deceased worker's wages and funeral expenses of up to $3,500.
How Can You File A Workers' Comp Claim In New Jersey?
If you are an employee who got hurt or fell ill due to an accident on the job, you must take steps to protect your rights to compensation.
The first thing you must do is report the accident to your employer within 90 days of the accident or the diagnosis. You must send the notice to anyone with authority in your company, preferably your supervisor or an office in the human resources department. It may not be a written request, but having proof of the notice can be helpful.
If your injury or illness requires medical attention, request a consultation with a doctor through your employer. Under New Jersey law, the employer or insurer must pay for health care.
Should there be no problems with the claims, the workers' compensation insurance policy will cover your payments.
However, in cases of disputes, the employee can file a formal Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. However, these claims must be filed within two years of the incident or the last compensation payment.
Ultimately, dispute claims are usually tricky situations, but they can be easier with expert lawyer advice. Workers' comp lawyers can help you handle lawsuits or reach a settlement.
Ensure You Are Covered By NJ Workers' Compensation
NJ workers' compensation is an essential program that ensures workers with injuries, illnesses, or disabilities brought on by a work accident get access to medical and monetary benefits. These payments secure their future while they focus on recovery or as their families fight to move on.
Whether you are a New Jersey employee or an employer, it is important to learn as much information as you can about this assistance. If you want to learn more about workers' compensation, check out the Disability Help guide to workers' compensation benefits.