Temporary Total Disability
If you were injured in a work-related accident or develop a work-related illness, workers’ compensation provides benefits that can help cover your medical expenses and lost wages. In New Jersey, if your injury prevents you from working for more than seven days, you are entitled to Temporary Total Disability Benefits (TTD).
Naturally, it is worrisome and stressful if a work injury prevents you from returning to your job. You may have questions concerning how long TTD benefits run and how much they pay. The weekly maximum and minimum amounts are determined by the state and change every year, however, general benefits are two-thirds of your average weekly wage before you were injured. Temporary total disability benefits can run up to 400 weeks, at which point your situation will be re-evaluated.
You may return to your job beforehand if your doctor says you are able, or your doctor may state at some point that you have reach maximum medical improvement and that further treatment is unlikely to make a difference in your recovery. If this is true, your benefits can change from TTD to permanent total disability. TTD benefits are not considered taxable income, so you will not have to pay taxes on the compensation you receive for your injury or illness.
Calculating Average Weekly Wages
Average weekly wages are calculated based on the date the injury occurred or the date a worker developed a disability related to an occupational illness. This is an important point because tips, overtime, and the number of hours worked, as well as bonuses and commissions, can make a big difference in the amount of benefits you receive. Insurance companies will want to minimize your payments, so consulting with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is advisable.
Denial of TTD Benefits
If your employer or their insurer does not accept the doctor’s assessment of your injury as a TTD and wants you to go back to work, you may have to undergo an independent medical evaluation (IME) by a neutral third-party doctor. You must attend an IME if asked to do so or your benefits could be cut off. If either party disagrees with the findings by the IME, then a hearing before the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Board may be requested. You are not required to hire a lawyer for the hearing, but a skilled and experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will know what evidence can strengthen your case for TTD benefits and will have experience dealing with such hearings.
South Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP Recovers Benefits for Injured Workers
If your workers’ compensation benefits have been denied or discontinued, contact the dedicated South Jersey workers’ compensation lawyers at Pietras Saracino Smith & Meeks, LLP. We have the knowledge and experience needed to successfully recover the benefits you are owed so that you can concentrate on your recovery. Our firm has a record of success helping injured workers appeal denied claims. To schedule a free consultation today, call us at 856-761-3773 or contact us online. From our office in Cherry Hill, New Jersey, we represent injured workers throughout South Jersey, including those in Camden, Cinnaminson, Delran, Maple Shade, and Pennsauken.