When you’ve suffered a workplace injury, you may wonder what comes next. The good news is you’re entitled to certain benefits through workers’ compensation, regardless of who was at fault for the accident. It’s important to inform your employer right away of any injury, even if it seems minor at the time. Doing so can help you protect your interests and give you a stronger claim for recovering the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve.
There are several types of workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey. It’s important to understand what type of coverage you can expect to receive and how it can help you begin to move forward with your life.
Most employers are required to carry workers’ compensation insurance. This insurance program should cover the costs of reasonable medical care, prescriptions, and other treatments. Because medical benefits are covered through an employer’s plan, you will not get to choose your doctor. There are exceptions in the case of an emergency or if your employer refuses to provide you with medical care.
Temporary total disability benefits
If your injuries have knocked you out of work for seven days or longer, you are eligible to apply for temporary total disability benefits. These benefits will provide you with a set percentage of your wages. These benefits will run out if you’re able to return to work or if medical treatment has done all that’s possible for your injury.
Permanent partial benefits
If your injury has resulted in a partial permanent disability, your benefits will be set as a percentage of either scheduled or non-scheduled losses. A scheduled loss involves visible body parts, such as fingers, arms, and teeth. A non-scheduled loss involves anything not covered by the schedule, including the heart, lungs, and other organs. You will receive your benefits check weekly.
Permanent total benefits
Sometimes, a workplace illness or occupational disease may be so severe that you cannot work in any capacity. In this case, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability benefits. These benefits last for 450 weeks. You can continue to receive benefits beyond this time if you can show that you are still unable to return to work.
If a workplace accident or illness proves fatal, surviving family members may be eligible to receive death benefits. The process of applying for these benefits can be complicated. You should discuss any claims with a skilled legal professional.