1. I have been hurt on the job. What do I do?
You should notify your employer as soon as possible. The notice may be given to the foreman, supervisor, personnel office, or anyone in authority at the employer’s place of business. Notice does not have to be in writing.
If you are in need of medical treatment, a request should be made to the employer as soon as possible. Please note that under the NJ workers’ compensation law, the employer and/or their insurance carrier can select the health care provider(s) to treat injured workers for work related injuries.
2. My employer will not report my accident to the workers’ compensation insurance carrier. What can I do?
You should consider contacting the insurance carrier directly or alternatively, you may want to consider filing a claim with the Division in this instance. Proof of insurance coverage should be displayed in a prominent location at the place of business. If this information is not posted, you can obtain this information by writing to the Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau at 60 Park Place, Newark, NJ 07102 or by visiting their web site at www.njcrib.com. If you choose to file a claim, you may wish to contact an attorney for assistance. Contact Garces & Grabler today.
3. Who decides my entitlement to receive workers’ compensation benefits?
Your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier or your employer, if they are self-insured, will investigate your claim and make a determination as to your eligibility to receive workers’ compensation benefits. If you disagree with their determination, you have a right to file a claim with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. This can be done by either filing an application for an informal hearing or by filing a formal claim petition. For more information on this process, please visit the “How to File a Claim” page.
4. While I was out of work as a result of a work-related injury my employer terminated me. Is such termination permissible?
The Workers’ Compensation statute, NJSA 34:15-39.1, only prohibits the termination of an employee in retaliation for filing a workers’ compensation claim or for testifying at a workers’ compensation hearing. If you feel you were terminated for these reasons, one alternative is the filing of a discrimination complaint against your employer with the Division of Workers’ Compensation. While the provisions of the law provide for restoration to your former position and payment of lost wages, you must be able to perform the essential duties of that position to avail yourself of any remedy under this portion of the statute. The applicable procedural rules may be found in the Rules of the Division of Workers’ Compensation, N.J.A.C. 12:235 – 9.1 et seq.
If your employer’s actions are not based upon your efforts to secure workers’ compensation benefits for yourself or others, but because of your disabling condition, you may have recourse to claim a violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Information concerning the ADA or complaints may be filed by writing or calling the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1801 L. Street. NW., Washington, D.C. 20507, (202) 663-4900; Fax (202) 663-4912.
The EEOC may also be reached from Mercer County (except Monmouth) and South by calling 215-451-5800 or from Monmouth County (except Mercer) and North by calling 1(800) 669-4000 (T.D.D. 973-645-3004).
5. The workers’ compensation doctor has released me for light duty work, but my employer advises that there is no such work available. What can I do?
In this situation, if you haven’t returned to work and continue to receive authorized medical care for your injuries, you should continue to receive temporary disability benefits for the period of time up to and including the date the authorized health care provider indicates as the date of maximum medical improvement.
6. I have two jobs, one full time and the other part time job. I was injured on the part time job, and because of the injury I am also unable to work at the full time job. Can I collect workers’ compensation benefits from my full time job?
No. Since you were injured on your part time job, any workers’ compensation benefits will be based on that employment.
7. Are workers’ compensation benefits taxable?
Workers’ compensation benefits are not taxable as per the NJ Gross Income Tax law NJSA 54A:6-6. For further information, please visit the IRS website at: http://www.irs.gov/publications/p17/ch05.html#en_US_publink100032551
8. What if I recover money from a third party as a result of my injury?
The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law entitles the employer and/or their insurance carrier to receive a credit for amounts recovered from a third party causing a compensable work related injury (N.J.S.A. 34:15-40). This provision is intended to prevent the recovery of duplicate benefits for the same injury and disability.
When the gross third party settlement amount is equal to or greater than the total award of compensation benefits, the amount of the credit is generally two-thirds of the amount payable by or on behalf of the employer less $200.00.
When the gross third party settlement amount is less than the total award of compensation benefits, the credit is generally two-thirds of the gross third party settlement amount less $200.00.
Where benefits have not been paid, the amount owed to you by or on behalf of the employer will be reduced by the credit amounts.
9. I have a disability that is preventing me from working. Are there any services offered through the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, such as retraining services, that can help me in this situation?
The mission of the New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services is to enable individuals with disabilities to achieve employment outcomes consistent with their strengths, priorities, needs, abilities and capabilities. The Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services is here to help individuals with disabilities that are having trouble finding or holding a job because of their disability. If you have a disability that is preventing you from working, or which is endangering your present employment, you may wish to submit a referral for services. For more information, visit their website.
10. Does the Workers’ Compensation Law give special compensation to minors?
A minor who suffers a disability because of a work-related injury or illness is entitled to all of the same benefits as any other employee. However, if the minor was employed in violation of child labor laws, benefits for temporary disability, permanent disability or death are double the amount normally awarded.
Pamela J. Johnson, Esq., is a New Jersey Supreme Court Certified Workers’ Compensation Attorney.
Before you file a Workers’ Compensation claim in New Jersey, get more Workers’ Compensation information at our website, or contact a New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney today.