In New Jersey, when you’ve suffered a work-related injury, you have the right to file a workers’ compensation claim for benefits. Technically, they are considered disability payments, rather than wage replacement, but they are typically available for any period during which you are unable to work because of your injury.
What you may not know, though, is that even if you return to work, but have a permanent injury, you may be entitled to an additional monetary award known as a “scheduled loss of use (SLU) award.” It’s generally available to workers who have suffered an injury to one of their bodily extremities, such as fingers, toes, hands, feet, arms and legs. It’s referred to as a scheduled loss of use award because there’s a specific list, or schedule, of injuries for which you may receive compensation, along with a designated amount of benefit for the particular injury.
HOW YOU CAN QUALIFY FOR A SCHEDULED LOSS OF USE AWARD
If you have returned to work or if you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement,” and you have some permanent injury to an extremity, you may qualify. Maximum medical improvement simply means that your health won’t improve with any type of medical care.
First, you’ll need to schedule an appointment with your treating physician. Your doctor will look for two things-the existence of a permanent injury to an extremity, and the rate, or percentage of loss of use of the extremity. Under the schedule, there’s a fixed amount for the loss of use of a particular body part, which assumes the total loss of use of that extremity. The amount you receive will be that total amount multiplied by the percentage of loss of use, as determined by the doctor.
CONTACT The Law Office of Mallon & Tranger
We offer a free initial consultation to anyone in New Jersey who has been injured at work. To set up a meeting, contact us online or call us at 732-702-0333 (toll free) for an appointment. We have offices in Freehold and Point Pleasant.