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Due to increase, workers' compensation claims reviewed closely

A former supervisor at the Trenton Water Works, who also happens to be the half-brother of the city's mayor, may face a battle to obtain workers' compensation from two separate claims amounting to $5,000. The city's council has decided it wanted to look into his claims further before approving a settlement. The council may be particularly concerned in this instance of workers' compensation claims because the man is currently jailed for allegedly being involved in the misuse of city workers and resources.

This case illustrates how workers' compensation claims may receive scrupulous review as employers and their insurers look to manage costs. Indeed, the council's president and business administrator admitted that all such claims deserve more attention the same day that the council approved over $36,000 in compensation benefits for others.

Workers in public sector jobs may find themselves at an increased need for worker's compensation due to the nature of their work. Often, they must work in the outdoors, and must deal with things such as downed power lines, broken glass, raw sewage and other potentially dangerous and harmful substances. Also, if they are in law enforcement, there is the possibility of being injured in a shootout or another situation involving a dangerous criminal. Public workers are exposed to a great deal of hazardous situations, which makes the availability of workers' compensation particularly important.

Workers who are injured on the job are generally entitled to worker's compensation. The state of New Jersey requires that employers carry worker's compensation insurance in order to cover the lost wages and medical expenses incurred by the worker. However, a denied claim - which is a possibility in this case - is not the end of the road. Understanding the system and one's rights to compensation may be vital to obtaining the money necessary to deal with an unfortunate work-related injury or illness.

Source: nj.com, "Trenton council investigates workers' compensation claim from Trenton mayor Tony Mack's half-brother," Erin Duffy, March 21, 2013.

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