When a work accident happens, an employee is forced to deal with a loss of wages because he or she can no longer work. Lost wages can put an enormous stress not only on the injured employee, but also on the employee’s entire family.
How is Temporary Disability Benefits Calculated?
In New Jersey, an employee is entitled to workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits to compensate for lost wages when injured in a work accident. Temporary disability benefits calculations are based on 70 percent of an employee’s average weekly wage and is subject to minimum and maximum rates for each calendar year. These benefits are not taxable to the employee.
What Limits Are There for Temporary Disability Benefits in New Jersey?
In 2020, the minimum temporary disability rate is $252.00 per week and the maximum rate is $945.00 per week. That means that an employee who earns $2,000.00 per week or even $10,000.00 per week is still limited to $945.00 per week in workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits. Temporary disability rates are determined by the calendar year in which the accident happened, not when the claim was filed.
Temporary disability benefits are payable to an injured employee until an employee can return to work or reaches maximum medical improvement from medical treatment, whichever occurs first. In order to qualify for workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits, an employee must miss seven days of work. This is commonly referred to as the waiting period. Once an employee misses seven days of work, he or she is entitled to workers’ compensation temporary disability benefits retroactive to the first day missed from work.
Can I Collect my Full Salary in Lieu of Temporary Disability Benefits?
A substantial number of New Jersey employees receive full salary during their period of work absences and are not limited to the annual maximum rate. There are two categories of employees who receive full salary in lieu of temporary disability benefits; those who receive full salary by statute and those who receive full salary by collective bargaining agreement.
In New Jersey, employees of boards of education receive full salary by statute. A board of education employee receives full salary for one year from the date of injury.
The other category of employees who receive full salary in lieu of temporary disability benefits are employees who are part of a collective bargaining agreement, including those in the public or private sector. These agreements are negotiated between union and management. In the public sector, virtually all public safety workers, like police, fire, or EMT employees, receive full salary by collective bargaining agreement. In the private sector, there are also comparable negotiated agreements.
If you have been injured at work, it is best to contact an experienced lawyer immediately about filing a claim. A lawyer will help you calculate what is owed to you and will help you obtain the rightful amount of compensation.
Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Can Help You Obtain Temporary Disability Benefits to Compensate for Lost Wages
If you believe that you are entitled to temporary disability benefits to compensate for lost wages, please contact one of our Cherry Hill workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP. Our experienced lawyers will fight for your rights. For a free case consultation, contact us online or call us at 856-761-3773. Located in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we serve clients throughout South Jersey, including Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.