Understanding Permanent Disability Benefits In New Jersey

Not all workplace injuries are created equal. In the most serious of cases, workers can suffer catastrophic, life-changing and permanent injuries. For these workers, permanent/total disability benefits exist.

This level of additional workers’ compensation insurance coverage covers work injuries that cause long-term impairment. A doctor assigns an impairment rating, which forms the basis of benefits received, finally determined at an administrative hearing.

The Department of Labor and Workforce Development for New Jersey oversees the workers’ comp process statewide. According to standards set by this agency, if you’re totally unable to work, you might be entitled to:

  • Weekly benefits for the first 450 weeks after your injury.
  • Ongoing benefits after the initial 450 weeks if you can show that you’re still unable to earn wages due to your work injury or illness
  • Weekly benefits at a reduced amount if you’re able to earn money after 450 weeks

If you’ve lost the use of two main body parts – such as your eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet – you’re presumed to be totally disabled and will be eligible for permanent total disability. However, you may also be eligible for permanent total disability if you have a combination of injuries that, as a whole, leave you unemployable.

Like with all workers’ compensation benefits, these benefits cover:

  • Medical treatment
  • Residual disability
  • Lost time from work

Frequently Asked Questions About Permanent Disability Benefits

When you have severe workplace injuries that may leave you with permanent damage and disabilities, it’s only normal to have questions. Here are the ones we hear most often:

What qualifies as permanent disability from a work accident in New Jersey?

A permanent disability is any impairment that cannot reasonably be expected to improve. Permanent disabilities are usually assessed once someone has reached the state of “maximum medical improvement” according to their physicians. That’s the point after which no significant progress in healing is anticipated.

You may have a permanent partial disability, which limits your ability to work or return to your former occupation but doesn’t preclude working entirely.

If you are 100% disabled and unable to work at all due to your injuries or illness, you would qualify for permanent total disability benefits. Permanent total disability is presumed when you have lost two major body parts, such as a hand, an arm, or an eye and hand. Still, it can also result from other injuries or a combination of injuries.

What compensation can you get for permanent disability after a New Jersey work accident?

If your work-related injury or disease leaves you with a partial, permanent disability, you will be given a disability rating in the form of a percentage. That percentage could be decided by “schedule” (a statutorily determined amount) or nonscheduled (related to anything not expressly scheduled, such as loss of hearing or a lost limb). You would then be entitled to a weekly benefit amount that would be due after your temporary disability benefits end.

If you are given permanent total disability benefits, you would be entitled to receive weekly benefits for 450 weeks (8.6 years) based upon 70% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (subject to minimums and maximums that are adjusted yearly). You would be entitled to benefits beyond the initial 450 weeks with proof that you remain disabled.

New Jersey Permanent Disability Benefits Attorneys

Because our lawyers at Parisi & Gerlanc, Attorneys At Law, have worked on some of New Jersey’s most complex cases for decades, there is no workers’ compensation case for which we are not prepared. We know how serious some workplace injury accidents are, and we are ready to fight for your well-being. We are also able to work on fatal accident cases.

To schedule a free initial consultation to discuss workplace injuries with one of our Bergen County permanent disability attorneys, call 551-587-8915 or contact us via email.