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What benefits are provided by workers' compensation?

For many injured New Jersey workers, any form of assistance is welcome, especially if their injury results in permanent disability. This is where workers' compensation comes in. Workers' compensation benefits can certainly be a big help to employees injured on the job. However, to best maximize the effect of these benefits, workers should know how the program works.

Workers' compensation provides benefits to injured workers. Benefits are also available to families of workers killed in a workplace accident. In general, benefits for injured workers include payment for medical treatment and lost wages.

To what extent do the benefits cover lost wages? If a worker has been left disabled by an injury for over seven days, the worker is eligible for temporary disability benefits. These benefits award a worker 70 percent of their average weekly salary. However, the benefits can be discontinued once a worker has been cleared to return to work or when the worker's medical condition has improved as much as possible.

Will these benefits include cost of living increases? Cost of living increases are covered by the supplemental benefits of workers' compensation. Only workers who sustain a permanent disability and dependents of workers who died before January 1, 1980 are eligible for theses benefits. Unfortunately, there are no provisions for cost of living increases for people who receive benefits for partial, temporary or total disability.

Are the benefits taxable? Injured New Jersey workers will be happy to know that workers' compensation benefits are non-taxable.

Despite these straightforward answers, the workers' compensation process can be complicated at times. New Jersey workers or their families who are having problems with the process or whose claim has been denied may wish to consult an attorney regarding possible steps to rectify the situation.

Source: Lwd.dol.state.nj.us, "Frequently Asked Questions," Accessed on Dec. 4, 2014

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