How Workers’ Compensation Rates Are Determined
If you are a New Jersey employee injured in a work-related accident, you are most likely wondering how workers’ compensation rates are determined. Like New Jersey State Disability benefits, not everyone is eligible for the same dollar amount.
Temporary Disability Benefits
Workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits are awarded in accordance with the directive of the authorized medical provider. It is not enough for your private physician to say you are unable to work. The insurance company is responsible for setting up your medical treatment and paying for it. Their doctor will determine if your condition necessitates you missing work.
There is a distinction between temporary disability benefits and permanent disability benefits. Generally, you can expect to receive temporary benefits for a period of time following your accident. Not everyone is entitled to permanent disability benefits, which do not have to represent permanent total disability. For example, if you broke a bone, you may receive an award for partial permanent disability. This means that your injuries had a serious impact on you, but were not severe enough to prevent you from returning to some type of employment. Again, permanent disability benefits are not a consideration until you have sufficiently healed from your injuries.
Calculation of Temporary Disability Benefits
There are a number of factors that are important in the calculation of temporary disability benefits. First, the year in which the injury occurred is important. Temporary disability amounts change annually.
In order to receive temporary disability benefits, you must be out of work or at least seven days. Rates are calculated based on your average earnings for the twenty-six weeks prior to the accident. For the most part, you can expect to receive seventy percent of that average. However, there are maximum and minimum amounts involved in this calculation.
Maximum and Minimum Benefits Amount
As we indicated, the amount afforded for temporary disability benefits changes each year. This is particularly important when determining the maximum amount you can expect to receive from the workers’ compensation carrier. The state has also set up minimum amounts for lower paid workers. According to a chart offered by the New Jersey Department of Labor and Workplace, eligible employees can expect to receive a maximum of $871 for work-related injuries occurring in 2015. This means that anyone who earned in excess of $1244 weekly would be entitled to $871 in temporary disability benefits.
The minimum amount available to injured workers in 2015 is $232 weekly. Therefore, employees who earned less than $331 per week would be eligible for this amount.
At the Law Offices of Anthony Carbone, we recognize the impact that your injuries may have on your life. We want to make it easier for you to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. Contact us for assistance.