The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development recently announced the State’s new workers’ compensation rates for 2020. The maximum and minimum disability rates have increased slightly each of the past several years, and this trend has continued in the new decade. Notably, however, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation rates are still lower than those available in many of the surrounding states.

What Are the 2020 Workers’ Compensation Rates in New Jersey?

When calculating temporary and permanent disability benefit rates in New Jersey, there are three numbers that need to be considered. These are: (i) the percentage of gross wages, (ii) the maximum weekly benefit rate, and (iii) the minimum weekly benefit rate. For 2020, the percentage of gross wages has remained the same, while the maximum and minimum weekly benefit rates have increased slightly.

If you get injured on the job and you are eligible to file for workers’ compensation, the default rule is that your disability benefits will be calculated at 70 percent of your gross wages. So, if you make $1,000 per week, your disability benefits would be capped at $700 per week. This 70-percent figure has been in place in New Jersey for a while, and it is not changing for 2020.

However, if you are making more than $1,350 per week in 2020, then your disability benefits will be capped at $945 per week. This is a slight increase from 2019’s maximum disability rate of $921. Likewise, if you make less than $360 per week, you are still eligible to receive up to $252 per week in benefits. This, too, represents a slight increase from the 2019 minimum disability rate of $246. The new maximum disability rate applies to death benefits for spouses as well.

So, to summarize, New Jersey’s workers’ compensation disability rates for 2020 are as follows:

Total Permanent Disability

  • Standard Benefit: 70% of weekly wages for 450 weeks
  • Maximum Benefit: $945.00 per week for 450 weeks
  • Minimum Benefit: $252.00 per week for 450 weeks

Additional benefits beyond the standard 450-week payment period are available in some cases.

Temporary Disability

  • Standard Benefit: 70% of weekly wages for up to 400 weeks
  • Maximum Benefit: $945.00 per week for up to 400 weeks
  • Minimum Benefit: $252.00 per week for up to 400 weeks

Death Benefits

  • Standard Benefit: 70% of weekly wages for 450 weeks
  • Maximum Benefit: $945.00 per week for 450 weeks

Additional spousal benefits may also be available, and there is also a $3,500 allowance for funeral and burial expenses that is available to family members who lose loved ones due to job-related injuries and illnesses.

Are You Entitled to Permanent or Temporary Disability Benefits for an On-the-Job Injury?

How do you know if you are entitled to permanent or temporary disability benefits under New Jersey law? Unfortunately, your employer and its workers’ compensation insurer are not likely to help you understand your legal rights. While most employers in New Jersey are required to pay workers’ compensation benefits by law, most employees still find it very difficult to collect the benefits to which they are legally entitled.

As a result, determining whether you are entitled to permanent or temporary disability benefits is a task that you will need to undertake on your own or with the help of a New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney. In general terms, the eligibility criteria for permanent and temporary disability benefits are as follows.

  • Temporary Disability Benefits: You may be eligible for temporary disability benefits if you are unable to work for a period of seven days or longer as a result of a job-related injury or illness.
  • Permanent Total Disability Benefits: You may be eligible for permanent total disability benefits if you are unable to work in any occupation for a period of 450 weeks or longer due to a job-related injury or illness.

New Jersey law also provides for the payment of permanent partial disability benefits in cases where an employee suffers a permanent job-related injury but is still able to work in some capacity. Unlike temporary and permanent total disability benefits, permanent partial disability benefits are calculated according to a schedule that takes into account the location and severity of the injury.

Speak with a Compensation Lawyer in Confidence

If you have questions about your legal rights after suffering a job-related injury or illness in New Jersey, we encourage you to contact us for a free, no-obligation consultation.

Petro Cohen Petro Matarazzo has been consistently recognized as one of New Jersey’s leading firms in the area of workers’ comp. The firm received the highest rating by Martindale-Hubbell – the world’s foremost authority on law firm credentials – in Professional Excellence and Ethical Standards and Legal Ability.

In addition to the firm’s stellar reputation, the department head, Frank Petro, is respected locally, regionally, and nationally as a leading attorney in this specialized field. He has been recognized as an outstanding attorney by Best Lawyers® every year since 1995 and by Super Lawyers® every year since 2005. Moreover, he has achieved a rating of “Superb” on the leading lawyer-review website, Avvo®, the highest achievable rating.

Along with Stephen M. Matarazzo, Suzanne Holz Meola, Terri Hiles, Steven Lubcher, and Daniel Rosenthal, our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys have more than 100 years of combined experience, having successfully handled thousands of litigated workers’ comp cases throughout the state, including many WEAR and TEAR injury claims. This experience and winning track record means that you are going to have a skilled New Jersey work injury lawyer who will work hard for you.

Our workers’ compensation attorneys can answer all of your questions and determine the most efficient way to proceed in order to help you and your family obtain the compensation that you rightfully deserve.

To speak with one of our experienced compensation lawyers in confidence at one of our four southern New Jersey offices (Northfield, Cape May Court House, Cherry Hill, or Hamilton), call us today at 888-675-7607 or request your free consultation online.