When there is a workplace injury, there is understandable concern. Being unable to pay bills, losing income and facing an uncertain future will all come to the forefront. This is when New Jersey workers’ compensation benefits can help with covering for medical costs and in some cases a portion of lost wages. As workers start the treatment and recovery process, there is often confusion regarding benefits they will receive. Knowing the different types of benefits workers can get is imperative from the outset.
Temporary vs. partial benefits: What is the difference?
The type of benefits a person can receive varies depending on the injuries. Two fundamental categories are temporary total disability benefits and permanent partial benefits. With temporary total disability, the worker must be disabled for more than seven days. The Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) is used to determine the amount. It will pay 70% of their average weekly wage, but not beyond 75% nor below 20%. The payments will be provided while the worker is off the job due to the injury and is getting medical treatment.
Permanent partial benefits are contingent on “scheduled” and “non-scheduled” losses. If, for example, a warehouse employee suffers the loss of an extremity like an arm or leg, that is a scheduled loss. However, if it is an internal organ like a lung or a body part that is not directly identified like a back injury, it is non-scheduled. The worker will begin receiving these payments each week after the end of temporary disability payments under workers’ comp.
Other key points about workers’ compensation
Regarding temporary total benefits, it is also important to note that the worker’s benefits will cease when he or she achieves maximum medical improvement (MMI). MMI means that the worker cannot get any better even with continued treatment. The case will then be assessed to determine if partial permanent or total permanent benefits should be approved. As these categories show, workers’ comp can be somewhat complex and it is wise to know about the entire process from the start to have a good chance of maximizing benefits.