What kind of benefits may I be eligible for?
Your attorney will be able to advise you on the benefits you may be eligible for depending on the specifics of your case. Here are the kinds of compensation that can be covered as part of Workers’ Compensation:
All necessary medical treatment, diagnostic testing and hospitalization services should be provided by the employer’s insurance company. Because they are paying for the treatment, any and all treatment must be authorized by the insurance carrier. The insurance carrier also has the right to choose the physicians that treat your injuries. If there is a disagreement regarding treatment, or if the employer’s insurance carrier refuses to provide medical treatment, you may choose your own doctor and demand payment of the treatment through the Courts.
If the work related injury requires you to be medically disabled from your employment for more than seven (7) days, the employer’s carrier is obligated to pay temporary disability benefits. The disability period runs from the date of injury and benefit is 70% of the employee’s pre-injury weekly wages, up to a maximum amount set by the Commissioner of Labor in Trenton. An annual chart is published which illustrates the maximum amount permissible.
Permanent Partial Benefits
If the job related injury results in a permanent partial disability, benefits are paid based on the percentage of disability that is determined by medical experts. Disability percentages are paid for specific body parts such as finger, hand, arm, leg, feet, toes, teeth, eyes, and ears. However, disability is also paid for disability suffered to non specific body parts such as the neck, back, lungs, heart, shoulder, etc.
The disability percentage is where an experienced attorney needs to fight for the highest percentage of disability possible. The employer or insurance company for the employer will try and pay the lowest possible percentage, and if you do not have a skilled attorney, this could have a negative long term effect on current and future rights.
Permanent Disability (Total) Benefits
If the job related injury results in permanent total disability, the injured worker is entitled to receive payments for 450 weeks and the weekly payments will be continued after the 450 weeks as long as the total disability continues. It is important to note that after the 450 weeks of payment, the payment is subject to reduction for any other wages earned by the employee.
The weekly payments for permanent disability are based on 70% of the gross weekly wages at the time of the injury, or a statutory maximum, which increases annually, as set by the Commissioner of Labor in Trenton.
Permanent disability in workers compensation is established when the employee has lost the complete use of two major body (members) parts. These consist of the eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet. Permanent disability can also result from other injuries that make the worker otherwise unemployable.
When a job related accident or illness results in the death of worker, benefits are payable to the dependents of the worker based on statute. The weekly benefits payment is 70% of the gross weekly wages being paid to the worker at the time of death, payable to the dependents, but can not exceed the maximum total benefit as established by the Commissioner of Labor in Trenton.
A surviving spouse and natural children who were not part of the dependent’s household at the time of death and all other dependents, such as brothers, sisters, parents and grandparents, must prove they were actually dependent on the worker financially to make a death benefit claim.
The employer or his insurance carrier is responsible to pay up to $3,500.00 in expense for job related death. These benefits typically are paid to the person who has paid for the cost of the funeral or burial, or the estate itself.