Wage Loss Benefits
Missing work when you are injured can be scary and stressful. No matter your line of work, there are bills to be paid and many workers have families to take care of. Thankfully, if you are injured on the job, there are Workers’ Compensation benefits.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation law requires employers to have insurance that covers workplace injuries and illnesses. This no-fault system covers almost all work-related injuries except those that are sustained while under the influence of a controlled substance, through a deliberate violation of safety rules, self-inflicted injuries, and injuries that occur when attempting to injure a co-worker.
In addition to covering your expenses for medical treatment, Workers’ Compensation benefits cover some of the wages lost if your injury prevents you from working or if you are unable to perform the same job. To qualify for wage loss benefits in New Jersey, your injury must prevent you from returning to work for seven days before payments begin. The seven-day period begins on the first day your work-related injury prevents you from working and includes weekends and holidays, even if you were not scheduled to work. When you have been absent from work for seven days, wage loss payments can begin and are calculated from the first day you missed work.
Types of Benefits Available to Cover Lost Wages:
Temporary Total Disability (TTD) Benefits: Payments for this type of benefit begins when your work-related injury causes you to miss more than seven days of work and continues until you are able to return to work; you reach maximum medical improvement, which means that you cannot be treated further; or you reach the time limit of 400 weeks.
TTD is paid at the rate of 70 percent of your average weekly wages before you were injured with a maximum and minimum rate that changes each year. For example, the minimum weekly benefit for 2019 is $246 and the maximum weekly benefit is $921.
Once you reached maximum medical improvement, there are other types of wage loss benefits available, such as:
Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) Benefits: These benefits are paid when your work injury or illness leaves you impaired in some way, such as a long-term medical condition, but you can return to work in some capacity. Your PPD payment is calculated based on your pre-injury wages, what part of your body was affected, and the extent of the impairment.
New Jersey has a schedule of disabilities that assigns a value to certain body parts, according to the extent of your injury. PPD benefits equal 70 percent of your pre-injury wages for the length of time determined by the schedule of disabilities. Work injuries that leave permanent damage to the spine, internal organs, and head are non-scheduled disabilities and are also compensated at 70 percent of pre-injury wages.
Permanent Total Disability (PTD): If your doctor determines you are unable to go back to work because of your work injury, you may be eligible for PTD payments. PTD payments start after TTD payments have run their course and can be paid for a maximum of 450 weeks. At that point, an evaluation is carried out to assess your capacity to work. If your permanent disability is confirmed and you are unable to earn at a rate equal to what you earned pre-injury, your benefits can continue past 450 weeks.
An experienced Workers’ Compensation lawyer can help you maximize the benefits available to you. Navigating the system alone can be stressful, especially if your claim is denied and your employer’s insurer wants to end your benefits.
Vineland Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at DiTomaso Law Help Injured Workers Obtain Wage Loss Benefits
If injuries from a work accident leave you unable to return to your job, contact the experienced Vineland Workers’ Compensation lawyers at DiTomaso Law. We will fight to obtain the benefits you need and deserve. Call us today at 856-414-0010 to schedule a free consultation about your case or contact us online. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we proudly serve injured workers throughout South Jersey, including Mt. Holly, Vineland, and Camden County.