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New Jersey workers' compensation coverage for state employees

New Jersey employers are required to carry insurance covering employees who become ill or hurt on the job. Employers can opt to use a self-insurance program or purchase workers' compensation insurance through a commercial carrier. State workers in Bergen County, like all other state employees, receive benefits from a self-funded or state-funded plan under the Division of Risk Management.

Compensation is paid for medical treatment, lost wages and permanent disability. In exchange, workers forfeit the right to pursue individual legal claims against an employer. Employees do not receive workers' compensation automatically – there is a qualification process.

A work-related injury must be reported to an employer within 14 days of the time the injury occurred. The report can be filed by the injured state worker or someone on the employee's behalf. In turn, DRM must be notified of the injury report within 24 hours, particularly when a worker needs immediate medical care.

Whether a state worker suffers an illness or injury, a claim must show that the harm occurred in the course of the employee's work duties. Once a claim is approved, benefits are paid for medical care and when injured employees are unable to work, wage loss compensation is available equivalent to 70 percent of the worker's base salary. An employee permanently disabled by a job-related injury may receive additional, long-term monetary relief.

Horizon Casualty Services, Inc. manages and authorizes medical treatment injured state workers receive. The State of New Jersey, not the worker, determines which doctors and other health care providers are used to treat an injury. Employees are solely accountable for payment of any medical services that fall outside the workers' compensation programs guidelines.

Attorneys advise injured employees about New Jersey workers' compensation laws and provide valuable help with the claims and appeals process. Lawyers also may uncover sources of additional compensation from negligent third parties responsible for an injury.

Source: State of New Jersey, Office of the Treasury, "Workers Compensation" Aug. 06, 2014

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