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Know these nuances of workers' compensation in New Jersey

The laws governing workers' compensation in New Jersey are complex so many individuals who suffer an injury at work might struggle to determine whether they are covered in the event of an injury. Trying to sort through the applicable laws can often be difficult, especially when you're working through your treatment plan.

There are some points in the law that individuals might not realize exist. It behooves workers to know these points so they can utilize the information if necessary.

Emergency response technicians have special coverages

Police officers, fire fighters or emergency responders are covered under 34:15-7.3. This states that if the person has a cerebrovascular or cardiovascular death or injury, the incident is presumed compensable as long as it occurs while they are responding to a call. It covers paid, partially-paid, and volunteer positions.

Disability payments are limited

People who are injured at work and can't return right away who are classified as temporarily disabled don't get their full wages while they're off work based on 34:15-12. Instead, they will receive 70% of their wages in most cases. It is possible to receive as much as 75% or as little as 20%, depending on the circumstances. The benefits can be paid for a maximum of 400 weeks, and they are computed based on the average weekly wage of the person.

Permanent disabilities can receive 70% of the worker's average weekly wage for a total of 450 weeks. It is possible for these to be extended beyond 450 weeks depending on the findings during periodic reconsiderations.

Body parts lost have special limits

Amputations have special limitations for how many weeks the person can receive benefits. Losing a thumb has a 75-week limit if the entire thumb is amputated, but if the amputation is at the upper joint, that limit is cut in half.

  • Leg: 315 weeks
  • Arm: 330 weeks
  • Loss of vision in one eye: 200 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in one ear: 60 weeks
  • Loss of hearing in both ears from one incident: 200 weeks

As you can see, there are many nuances that exist within the workers' compensation laws. Ensuring that you get the benefits you're due can be a complex undertaking. Working with someone familiar with the system is beneficial, especially if you end up needing to file an appeal because you find out you aren't getting what you should.

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