Temporary Disability Benefits and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Act
Submitted by New Jersey Workers Compensation Lawyer, Jeffrey Hark
What is temporary disability benefits (TDB) and how am I entitled to it under the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Act. Temporary disability benefits are statutorily authorized wage replacement for any and all employees who were injured in the course of their employment. If you have any questions about TDB issue please call Hark & Hark at 856-354-0050. We handle TDB and all workers compensation claims all over the state of New Jersey including Atlantic County, Cumberland County, Camden County, Burlington County, Mercer County, Toms River, Freehold, Newark, Ht. Holly, Bridgeton, Mt. Lebanon, Trenton, and all the other comp locations in the state.
The key determination that must be made is what is your average 26-week wage prior to the date of injury. Another key to remember regarding temporary disability benefits is that TDB benefits are a remedial entitlement for employees. In other words, the employee must prove that s/he has a loss of income as a result of the work related injury.
NJ Jersey’s Worker’s Compensation Act as a whole is considered remedial legislation and should be given broad construction in order that the beneficial purpose of the act be accomplished. TDB payments are based upon a weekly salary or compensation conclusively presume to be received.
The key import is that so long as you are currently employed and receiving income you should be entitled to the temporary disability benefits. However, there are other factual scenarios which may preclude a petitioner from receiving TDB payments after he has stopped working due to a work related injury. I represented an individual who retired six weeks after he was released from the hospital stay required for a work related injury. The court took took the position that because the petitioner had retired during his hospital stay there was no income to replace even though the petitioner attempted to gain employment after he left the hospital but was unsuccessful due to his work limitations. Pregnant women or people who voluntarily do not go back to work after a work related injury may also fit the same description of persons not entitled to TDB after a work related incident. However the vast majority of employees who are injured in the course of employment and want to go back to work but are not medically cleared are entitled to temporary disability benefits. There are fact specific circumstances.
The Worker’s Compensation statute entitles an injured worker to 70% of their 26-week average wage for a 40 hour week. If you are employed and working 1015 or 20 hours of overtime the Worker’s Compensation carrier is not obligated to pay any average wage replacement for overtime hours. There is also a maximum entitlement benefit that rises with a cost-of-living increase.
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