Workers comp is a benefit provided by the government that gives you wage replacement if you’re injured on the job.
This wage replacement has four different categories:
• Disability income
• Death benefits
• Medical care
• Rehabilitation benefits
In a nutshell, it means you receive compensation for work injury. You must file a workers comp claim after you are injured on the job or discover you have an occupational disease, and then your employer will notify its workers comp insurance carrier. The insurance carrier will notify you if your claim is approved or denied. If your claim is denied, you have the right to appeal, and this is when you should consult a workers comp attorney for the best possible outcome.
Types of Disability Benefits
If you can’t work while you recover from your injury, you’re entitled to temporary total disability benefits. These benefits provide compensation for lost wages if you’re unable to work for seven or more days. In New Jersey, you receive approximately 70% of your wages. These benefits end upon your return to work, or when your doctor concludes that you’re at maximum medical improvement (MMI) and there are no more treatments to help your injury or condition. Another type of benefit is permanent partial disability. If your injury or impairment is deemed permanent, but you can go back to work in some capacity, you can receive these benefits. This is a weekly financial award paid out after your temporary total disability benefits end and you reach MMI.
In New Jersey, permanent partial disability covers the eyes, ears, arms, hands, legs, and feet. You may also be eligible for permanent total disability benefits. However, you must meet certain permanent disability qualifications. If your injury or occupational disease leaves you permanently disabled and unable to perform any type of work, you are eligible. Typically, these benefits are the same as temporary total disability, and pay out for at least 450 weeks. If you still can’t work at this time, the benefits continue for the rest of your life.
Remember to Follow the Right Steps
If you don’t follow the right procedures after suffering a work injury, you may give up your chances for workers comp. First, notify your employer of your injury as soon as possible. Or, if you have an occupational disease, notify the employer as soon as it’s discovered. You have two years from that date to file a workers comp claim. If you miss this deadline, you may lose out on your chance for compensation forever. Please note, these claims are not lawsuits.
If your claim is denied, you have the right to hire an attorney to walk you through the appeals process. Your attorney will ensure the correct paperwork is filled out, and help negotiate with insurance companies to ensure you get the compensation you deserve.