Many New Jersey employees assume that their workers’ compensation benefits end after they go back to work. This might be the case if you go back to work full-time after making a full recovery. However, you might be able to continue collecting benefits if you can’t work as much as you did before the accident.
What happens to your benefits when you return to work?
Workers’ compensation is meant to supplement your income and help you pay your bills after a workplace injury. If you go back to working full-time and make your regular wages again, the state will probably assume that you don’t need workers’ compensation anymore and cut your benefits. This could apply even if you take a different position or find a job at another company.
However, you might continue to collect workers’ compensation if you can’t make the same wages that you did before. The state will probably reduce your payout, but you’ll still get workers’ comp to supplement your wages. Your worker’s comp attorney could tell you if you’re still eligible for benefits or not.
In any case, workers’ compensation usually covers about two-thirds of your previous wages. Like a regular paycheck, you’ll get workers’ compensation every two weeks. You might qualify for a permanent disability payout if your injuries are so severe that you’ll never be able to return to work.
How do you qualify for workers’ compensation?
To qualify, you’ll need a doctor to confirm that you’re too injured to work. Most employers have their own doctors that you’ll need to see before you can qualify for workers’ comp. An attorney could help you fill out the required paperwork so you can start getting workers’ compensation as soon as possible.
Once you qualify for workers’ compensation, you probably won’t be able to stay on it indefinitely. In extreme situations, you might qualify for a large settlement if you can’t work anymore. Otherwise, you might want to look at other ways to supplement your income. You might be able to go back to work but take a different position that doesn’t interfere with your disability.