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There are several areas of the law which may touch the lives of injured workers, but are not covered by the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. The Division of Workers’ Compensation does not have any jurisdiction to decide issues which arise under these areas of the law, although decisions you make surrounding these issues may affect your workers’ compensation benefits. Am I Eligible To Receive Social Security Retirement Benefits? Depending on your age, you may already be eligible to receive your full social security retirement benefit. The full retirement age is has been gradually raised – it is currently either 66 or 67, depending upon the year you were born. You may start receiving social security retirement benefits as early…Read More

If you have read this manual, it should be abundantly clear that there will be legal ramifications to decisions made in the aftermath of a work injury, which will impact your medical and financial well-being in the future. The insurance carriers have an army of lawyers, doctors, and nurses at their disposal, whose goal is to minimize the amount of benefits paid on your claim. Shouldn’t you at least have one person with knowledge of the workers’ compensation system on your side? Why Do I Need A Lawyer If The Insurance Carrier Is Paying My Medical Bills And Sending Me A Check Every Week? Many workers’ compensation claims begin rather uneventfully, with the employer correctly reporting the claim and the…Read More

Slip and fall and trip and fall accidents are more common than you might think. People frequently fall as a result of slipping on foreign substances or highly waxed floors in stores, supermarkets, office buildings, and other public spaces, slipping on ice and snow on sidewalks and driveways, in parking lots and going up or down exterior steps, tripping on uneven sidewalks, deteriorated driveways, steps, walkways and parking lots, poorly maintained or situated doormats and area rugs and a host of other dangerous conditions. What Is The Legal Standard Surrounding Premises Liability? How Does It Relate To Slip And Fall And Trip And Fall Injury Cases? The liability of a property owner or occupier for injuries occurring on the property…Read More

Notwithstanding the responsibility of an owner or occupier of property, a patron also has responsibility for exercising reasonable care under the particular circumstances he or she is faced with. For example, if the patron is aware of a dangerous condition, such as a broken stair or a deep hole in a parking lot, he or she cannot simply ignore it and then blame the property owner or occupier for a condition that was obvious. How Does The Law Determine If A Store Property Owner Should Have Known About A Dangerous Condition On Their Property? Whether a store owner should have known about a dangerous condition depends on what would be considered reasonable under the particular circumstances of the incident. A…Read More

The New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act does not require your employer or the insurance carrier to provide you with retraining. If you are not ready or financially able to retire, you should make plans to start a new career. The New Jersey Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (“DVRS”) does provide some limited assistance. DVRS provides counseling, training, assistance with job searching and placement. You may contact your local DVRS office to schedule an appointment for an initial interview, at which time your eligibility for services will be evaluated.Read More

Generally, if you return to school on a full-time basis then you are not entitled to receive continued temporary disability benefits, on the basis that you removed yourself from the workforce for the purpose of furthering your education. However, if you are able to prove that you worked while attending college classes prior to the injury, an argument may be made that you are entitled to receive temporary disability benefits. Unfortunately, the law is unclear on this issue and you should consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about your particular circumstances.Read More

Temporary disability benefits will be terminated once you have reached “maximum medical improvement” from treatment, even if you cannot return to work full duty or even to the same line of work. The New Jersey Law Against Discrimination and the federal American with Disabilities Act require employers to offer “reasonable accommodations” for your disability. A reasonable accommodation may include helping you to lift heavy items, allowing you to stand and stretch periodically, or installing an ergonomic keyboard. Keep in mind though, that an employer cannot be forced to keep you on the payroll if you are unable to perform the essential functions of your job. If you believe that your employer may make simple adjustments which would allow you to…Read More

Temporary disability benefits are, by their very nature, “temporary.” The maximum period of time that you may collect temporary disability benefits is 450 weeks (approximately 8.5 years). However, you must be under active medical treatment during this period to qualify for continued lost wage benefits. To be considered “active,” the medical treatment must help you progress towards an increase in function, not just alleviate your symptoms temporarily. For instance, injections, physical therapy, or surgical intervention are all modalities which constitute active medical treatment. Going back to your doctor once every three months for prescription medication is generally not sufficient to constitute active medical treatment, to qualify you for continued temporary disability benefits. Accordingly, you should use the time you are…Read More

Even during a good economy, some people find it necessary to work at a second job to make ends meet, or choose to do so to get ahead. But what happens if you get hurt at one job, and can’t work at the other because of your injury? Workers’ compensation will only pay wage replacement benefits for the job in which you were injured. You may apply for TDI benefits from the State of New Jersey if you are disabled from working at the second job. However, there are many exceptions and pitfalls to be aware of when collecting both workers’ compensation and TDI. When applying for TDI benefits for part-time employment, you must take special care in completing Part…Read More

Yes, there is an alternate source for you to obtain some financial relief if your workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits are terminated and you are medically unable to return to work. Your employer may have purchased a disability plan through a private insurance company, or you may be qualified to receive benefits through the State of New Jersey. You should ask your company’s human resources department whether the company’s disability insurance is through a “state plan” or a “private plan.” If your company purchased a private plan, you must apply for benefits through that insurance company. Keep in mind that most private disability plans contain a provision in the insurance policy which provides for a “dollar for dollar” offset for…Read More

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