TEMPORARY DISABILITY ATTORNEYS IN
WC Temporary Disability Lawerys in NJ
TEMPORARY DISABILITY Claims
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Claimants who are temporarily disabled because of a work injury or disease while under active medical treatment are entitled to non-taxable temporary disability benefits so long as there is a provable loss of income. Temporary Disability is ordinarily payable at 70% of the worker’s gross average weekly wage earned at the time of the accident provided the disability extends beyond seven (7) days and a doctor, most often the authorized treating physician, concludes that the disability is in fact due to a work injury or disease. Benefits do not have to be paid for disabilities of seven (7) days or less, but this initial week is paid once the disability extends beyond the first week.
What Qualifies for Short-Term Disability Benefits?
To qualify for short-term disability benefits, you must satisfy the various requirements listed in your employer’s disability health plan. These requirements include meeting the plan’s definition of “disability” and remaining disabled both during and after any elimination period. If your condition requires you to be off from work longer than the maximum amount of time covered under the policy, you may be entitled to file a claim for long-term disability benefits.
In calculating the gross average weekly wage, the Court will usually take the average of gross wages earned during the 26 weeks preceding the date of accident, or date of last exposure in an occupational disease case. Overtime pay, bonuses, commissions and tips or other gratuities are included in wages so long as there exists sufficient credible documentation as to the amounts received during the relevant 26 weeks. Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can help you understand and recover the temporary disability benefits to which you are entitled.
How long is Short Term Disability?
Temporary disability compensation extends for as long as there is medical proof of qualifying work related incapacitation and the claimant is under active medical treatment, but not longer than 400 weeks. The workers’ compensation carrier or self-insured employer will routinely stop the payment of temporary disability compensation on the date when any one of the following events occurs:
(a) The claimant is released to return to work by the doctor;
(b) The claimant returns to work, with or without medical approval;
(c) The claimant stops active medical treatment or refuses to attend a medical examination or consultation reasonably requested by the insurance company or employer; or
(d) The claimant reaches maximum medical improvement irrespective of whether he/she is medically released to return to any gainful employment.
In order to carefully document the continued right to temporary disability benefits, we suggest obtaining disability notes from the treating physician whenever possible.
[Note: WC temporary disability is not N.J. State Temporary Disability, which is paid for lost time from work due to non-occupational injuries or illnesses. If you collect N.J. State TDB for a work related injury, a lien will be placed on your workers’ compensation recovery from which the lien will be repaid.]
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