Following a work-related injury, the injured employee often faces a period of hospitalization and/or recuperation, during which the employee is physically unable to return to work. Often, the prognosis of total recovery is good. Given time, the doctors say, the employee can retake his or her place as an active and productive worker. But, not now; for the time being, that just isn’t possible. For the employee and his or her family, there is the harsh reality that while the employee’s salary or wages have stopped, the bills have not. What form of workers’ compensation benefits can help the situation?
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
Generally speaking, New Jersey workers’ compensation law [N.J.S.A. § 34:15-12] requires the employer – ordinarily through the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company – to pay temporary disability equal to 70 percent of the employee’s “customary weekly wage” at the time of your accident.
The weekly temporary disability benefit, however, is subject to both minimum and maximum limits. At the top end, the weekly benefits may not exceed 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW). At the low end, the rate must be at least 20 percent of the SAWW. The SAWW is computed on or before September 1 each year. According to a chart maintained by New Jersey’s Department of Labor and Workforce Development, the 2016 maximum benefit is $896 and the minimum is $239.
The temporary disability benefits are payable during the entire period of hospitalization and recuperation, but may not exceed 400 weeks.
Following Return to Work, Other Benefits Still Are Possible
Injured workers should bear in mind that temporary disability payments following a work-related injury are only one type of benefits to which they may be entitled. In addition, the employee is entitled to full medical care, with necessary prescription medications and, sometimes, even rehabilitation services. If the worker recuperates as much as possible and still faces some degree of permanent injury, the employee may be entitled to additional benefits for that impairment. Each case is unique. Generally speaking, a skilled workers’ compensation attorney is a key to recovery of the benefits that may be due the injured worker.
You Work Hard; Now Let Us Work Hard For You!
Have you suffered a work-related injury? Were you hospitalized? Are you in a recuperative period during which your earnings have stopped, but the bills are mounting? Have you been told by a doctor that you have physical limitations, such as lifting restrictions? Have you experienced low back pain, or pain in any of your joints?
At Petro Cohen, P.C., we have both the skill and experience required to investigate and push forward your claim for recovery. We have helped many hard-working folks like you who have given years to their jobs only now to find out that they cannot return to work due to an injury. Call or contact Petro Cohen us for a free consultation. Talk with a hard-working New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer to find out how to recover money to pay for your medical treatment, physical therapy, and lost earnings. We can be reached by phone at 888-675-7607 or complete our online form. We look forward to discussing your situation with you.