Dependents of Public Safety Workers May Receive Supplemental Benefits

January 17, 2020

Public safety workers risk their lives to protect our communities, so it only makes sense to do what we can to help them and their families. Beginning this year, dependents of public safety workers who have been collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits may receive payments that are adjusted to today’s cost of living.

The bill is aimed solely to help the families of public safety workers who died or were injured in the line of duty after December 31, 1979. Families that collect these benefits will see a cost of living adjustment each year. This calculation will be added to the set amount of benefits awarded to the dependent and will not decrease the amount in any way.

The bill considers public safety workers to be those that work or volunteer for departments, such as police or rescue squads, and is paid to dependents of these workers by the Second Injury Fund. The bill is similar to other legislations by the governor’s administration to aid these families, such as lowering the threshold to prove work-related diseases.

Supplemental Benefits

The new law also subjects a family’s supplemental benefits to social security disability benefits, whereas they follow the same guidelines of impairment. If the recipient is receiving social security benefits, this law enables them to continue to collect those benefits, and the supplemental benefits will not interfere. If they had chosen not to receive social security, the law allows them to collect the supplemental benefits instead.

The New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation will work with the insurance company of the employer that is awarding the benefits and will hold them responsible for the proper calculation and disbursement of the supplemental benefits. If the insurance carrier fails to provide the government with the correct information within 60 days of notification, then the insurance company will be held liable for payment to the family.

The supplemental payments only apply to families awarded benefits by a New Jersey judge of compensation, under the Division of Workers’ Compensation. If a dependent was awarded voluntary benefits from the insurance carrier, the law allows them to petition to receive the supplemental benefits instead. The bill directs all questions to the Division of Workers’ Compensation website or recommends consulting a Workers’ Compensation attorney who specializes in the field.

Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Families of Public Safety Workers Receive Compensation

Families collecting Workers’ Compensation benefits from a deceased or injured loved one may face many obstacles to collect the right amount. The Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law can answer your questions and will work to obtain the compensation you deserve. Call us today at 856-414-0010 or fill out our online form for a free consultation. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Camden County, and Vineland.