The workers’ compensation systems in both New York and New Jersey pay medical and cash benefits to workers who are injured or get sick because of their job duties. Workers’ comp also provides a death benefit to the families of workers whose death was due to a job-related accident or illness.
Each state administers its own workers’ compensation insurance program, which most employers are required to buy as coverage for their employees.
If you have been injured in a worksite accident or have suffered an occupational disease, it is likely that you qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. As with other insurance programs, the details of its policies and procedures – and the insurance company’s profit motive – can make it hard to obtain a proper settlement.
Benefits for Medical Expenses, Lost Wages
Most workers are covered by state-administered workers’ compensation insurance programs. Most employers must carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Certain workers, such as independent contractors and unpaid student interns, may not qualify for workers’ comp. Companies that employ very few workers may not be required to obtain coverage. Federal employees are covered by federal insurance programs.
An employer that has workers’ compensation coverage or the insurance carrier pays eligible workers for necessary and reasonable medical treatment, loss of wages during the period of rehabilitation and benefits for defined disabilities.
Wage-loss, disability and death benefits are based on a percentage of the worker’s previous pay, subject to maximums established by the state. They are typically paid in weekly checks.
The New York and New Jersey programs have minor differences, but workers’ compensation benefits available to qualified employees include:
- Medical benefits. Workers’ compensation pays all related medical treatment costs, including those for therapeutic treatments and the cost of travel to and from appointments.
- Temporary total disability. When a doctor certifies that a worker cannot work because of a work-related injury, workers’ comp provides a weekly stipend up to a maximum period of time or until the worker’s doctor says the worker has recovered enough to return to work.
- Temporary partial disability. Workers who return to “light” work that pays less than their regular job may obtain payments to help make up the difference in wages.
- Permanent partial disability. Workers who suffer a lasting injury may obtain compensation for the effect their partial disability will continue to have on their ability to earn a living.
- Permanent total disability. Workers who are determined to be unable to perform any paying job may obtain benefits for life, but they will have to show that they are still totally disabled to receive payments after 450 weeks (about 8 ½ years).
- Death benefits. Dependents of a worker who has died from a job-related injury or illness may obtain payments for up to 450 weeks. Death benefits also include a funeral allowance.
An injured worker does not have to prove anyone was at fault to obtain workers’ compensation insurance benefits. He or she must show that the injury or illness was related to job duties. Certain actions, such as being drunk or on drugs, may disqualify an employee from receiving benefits.
Many claims are denied or approved at rates that are not what the employee deserves. Rules and regulations of the workers’ comp program can be confusing or overwhelming. This may result in problems with a claim. Too often, the employer or the insurance company fights the worker’s claim and prevails.
The attorneys at the Ginarte Law Firm work to keep claim denials or improper settlements from happening. We represent people in New York and New Jersey in workers’ compensation cases, including cases arising from on-the-job accidents, industrial injuries and occupational diseases.
We can assist with an initial application or at any point in your case. We can also assist with claims for Social Security Disability benefits that you may be eligible to receive.
Contact an Experienced NY & NJ Workers’ Comp Lawyer
Obtaining full workers’ compensation benefits after a workplace injury or illness is important to the financial well-being of the worker and his or her family. The Ginarte Law Firm can help you with your workers’ comp application, appeals of improper settlement offers or other work necessary to obtain benefits. We have more than 150 years of combined experience with workers’ compensation insurance programs that we can put to work for you.
- New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development – WC Benefits
- New York State Workers’ Compensation Board – Workers’ Compensation Benefits