• How are Workers’ Compensation Benefits Calculated?

    workers' compensation benefits For many people who suffer a work injury, the question of whether they’ll be able to get workers’ compensation benefits only comes after their primary concern, which is when they’ll be able to go back to work. Employees value their work for its intrinsic value and the sense of accomplishment that they derive, but they also need their wages in order to live. Workers’ compensation’s lost earnings benefits provide a buffer that is not equivalent to what they were earning before, but still serves to help them pay their bills and support their family. So how are workers’ compensation benefits calculated in the state of New Jersey?

    In order to get wage (disability) benefits you need to have missed a minimum of seven days before you are eligible for temporary disability benefits, though those days do not need to be consecutive. This seven-day requirement only applies to temporary disability, as both medical expenses and permanent disability payments have no waiting period. Once that number of days has passed and your claim is approved, you should get your first payment within 14 days. If it takes more than a month to get payments there is something wrong, and you may even be able to receive an additional 25 percent payment, as well as any attorneys’ fees that you incur.

    Once a claim has been approved, the amount of workers’ compensation disability wages you can receive is calculated on your average weekly earnings before your injury. That number is multiplied by 70 percent to determine your weekly pay, though there is a minimum you can be paid of $216 and a maximum of $810, with that maximum calculated as 75 percent of the state average weekly wage and the minimum calculated as 20 percent of the same factor.

    If an employee’s injury is determined to have achieved the maximum rehabilitation that it is going to, and the worker is unable to work at the same level that they once did, permanent disability will be assigned. Specific injuries like a loss of a limb or of vision or hearing have a schedule of payments, while other disabilities have a similar minimum and maximum to what is used for temporary disability, with the minimum being $35 per week and the maximum remaining at $810. The state has a two-year statute of limitations on workers’ compensation claims, so you need to make sure to submit an official claim before that period of time expires.

    If you have been injured and need assistance in getting the workers’ compensation benefits you deserve, contact us today to set up a convenient consultation.

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