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Workers’ Compensation: New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Temporary Disability Benefits

The U.S. Department of Labor Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2015, there were “approximately 2.9 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses reported by private industry employers.” During that same time period in the state of New Jersey, 134,580 workers’ compensation injuries were reported. While the State of New Jersey does not break down this statistic by type of injury, common workers’ compensation injuries include:

  • Slips and falls
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Sprained muscles
  • Broken bones
  • Amputations and partial amputations
  • Back injuries

What is a Temporary Total Benefit?                     

When an individual is injured “arising out of and in the course of employment,” they are entitled to different types of workers’ compensation benefits. One such benefit, based on lost wages, is known as a temporary total benefit. The State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development describes temporary total benefits:

If an injured worker is disabled for a period of more than seven days, he or she will be eligible to receive temporary total benefits at a rate of 70% their average weekly wage, not to exceed 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) or fall below the minimum rate of 20% of the SAWW. These benefits are provided during the period when a worker is unable to work and is under active medical care.”

It can be difficult for anyone to use this statewide formula to determine the amount they are entitled to receive, especially if they are injured, not feeling well or receiving medical care. A skilled New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer understands how to apply the statute to your situation and to confirm the amounts you must be paid.

When Do Temporary Total Benefits End?

Several circumstances can trigger the termination of temporary total benefits, including:

  • Attending required medical appointments: While receiving temporary total benefits, it is important for an injured employee to attend all scheduled medical appointments. In most instances, an employee’s failure to continue with prescribed medical treatment results in the termination of their eligibility for workers’ compensation benefits including temporary total benefits.
  • Returning to work: When an injured employee is medically released to return back to work or is determined to have reached maximum medical improvement, meaning that there is no additional medical cure or treatment for their injury or disease, temporary total benefits terminate. If the workers’ compensation physician determines that an employee is capable of returning to work, it may be possible to obtain a second medical opinion. A New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer understands when a second opinion is necessary and the types of physicians to contact to secure such an opinion.
  • Claiming maximum benefits: Temporary benefits are also terminated at the conclusion of the 400-week maximum allowed by New Jersey statute.

Contact a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Lawyer

Deadlines and other filing constraints apply to workers’ compensation claims. It is critical to talk to a New Jersey workers’ comp lawyer at Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A. as soon as possible after you are injured at work to ensure that your claim is properly filed and you receive all of the temporary disability and other benefits to which you are entitled. Contact our office today.

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Helmer, Conley & Kasselman, P.A.

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