One of the top questions for employers and employees in New Jersey, and basically in any state, is how they can speed up the process when it comes to reporting injuries and getting those comp benefits moving. Beyond employees accurately and timely reporting all accidents and injuries, and employers passing along that information in first reports of injuries to the state, what else can employers and their employees do?
In New Jersey, one of the top things that employees can do is make sure that they keep receipts and documents for all of their medical care and anything else regarding costs for their injuries. This could even include such things as keeping track of mileage between the homes and their doctors’ offices, or parking fees at the doctors’ office.
All of this cost information can help speed up the process in terms of getting their compensation for disability and medical care, but it can also come into play if there is a disagreement between you and the employee, or between you, the employee, and the state workers’ comp division. In that case, all of this medical costs information can go to the New Jersey Office of Special Compensation Funds.
But let’s say that no issues arise and an injury report goes from your hands to the New Jersey state workers’ comp fund. Looking at this case, you can see why it’s important to try to keep the payments for disabilities and medical care go as smoothly as possible.
In certain circumstances, these medical cost receipts and documentation are even more important. Let’s say that an employee works for an employer that doesn’t have workers’ comp, even thought they should (not you, of course!). That employee then gets paid by the New Jersey state Uninsured Workers’ Comp Fund. And in that case, it can take anywhere from 90 days to 120 days until they get paid back for their injuries.
One of unique facets of the New Jersey workers’ comp system is the Uninsured Employers Fund. The whole purpose of the Uninsured Employers Fund is to help make payments for medical expenses and lost wages compensation payments to injured workers whose employers failed to provide appropriate workers’ comp coverage for them. The Uninsured Employers Fund can also cover injured workers whose employees have coverage but refuse to make payments for medical bills or lost wages compensation.
To get these kind of state benefits in New Jersey, workers have to file a claim with the Division of the Workers’ Compensation. Then the division investigates whether or not the employee was really unprotected by their employers, or whether the employer just isn’t paying the worker’s medical bills and lost wages compensation costs.
When this employer is found to be uninsured when they should have had workers’ comp, the employee can then submit an official request to be part of the Uninsured Employers Fund with the help of his attorney. Then it is up to the state and the workers’ comp staff to determine if the Uninsured Employers Fund will pay for the worker’s temporary disability costs and medical expenses.
The employer in this case just doesn’t disappear and get off scott free in New Jersey. Let this serve as a warning to New Jersey employers. Workers’ comp insurance coverage is necessary. Because if the Uninsured Employers Fund gets called in to pay for one of your employees, a liens in the amount that the Uninsured Employers Fund gives up is docketed against you in the New Jersey Superior Court. Any permanent disability payments that come out it are also docketed, and you the employer can be fined for up to $6000. All of these fines and charges stay under the Superior Court in a liens.
In the state of New Jersey, I noticed that the average wage has increased every year for the past 6 years, and as it has the worker’s compensation payments have increased in turn. The worker’s compensation act, like those in most states, was created to help workers who are injured on the job by providing them with medical care, lost wages, and financial support for the injury if it proves to be permanent. These payments are made from a worker’s compensation insurance policy that is carried by the employer.
Employees who have experienced what is called an “occupation related disease” are also eligible for workers compensation benefits, if they can prove that the disease happened as a result of the employment. People who have a disease or condition that is aggravated by the type of work they do may also prove eligibility.
I know that there are many job related injuries or diseases and conditions that may qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Some of them are: Emphysema, asthma, and other breathing disorders, poisoning, bone fractures or dislocations, skin diseases, carpal tunnel syndrome, cuts and abrasions, burns, joint diseases, herniated discs, infections, viruses, burns, hearing loss, ligament or tendon injury, mental health issues, severe allergic reaction, spinal injury, and vision impairment.
New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws call for no-fault insurance policies, which means that negligence is not taken into consideration—they don’t have to prove the employer is at fault in order to receive benefits. Injured workers must file within the statute of limitations, and they must be compensated with minimal delays. The employer must furnish medical treatment and hospital treatment that will cure and alleviate the effects of the illness or injury. The employee will be eligible for temporary compensation after 7 days of being off of work because of the accident or illness.