How Are You Paid When Out for a Work-Related Injury?
All this talk about federal workers out on the government shutdown reminds you of your own problems. It’s something you certainly never bargained for, and you’re not sure what happens next. You can’t help but wonder how you’ll be paid when you’re out for a work-related injury.
In a typical scenario, you report the accident to your personnel department. You receive a referral to the hospital, a doctor, or even the company’s medical clinic. Meanwhile, you know you’re hurting and can’t imagine how you’ll go back and perform your work duties.
Perhaps you’re under the impression that workers’ compensation medical providers are reticent to put injured employees out for any period of time. Apparently, you’re the exception to the rule. The authorized treating doctor feels you’re in no position to return to work for at least a few weeks.
You couldn’t agree more. In fact, you immediately return to your company’s human resources department and request the forms to file for New Jersey State Disability. You’re surprised to learn that it’s not the State who provides temporary disability benefits for work-related illnesses or injuries.
For the most part, employees hurt on the job receive disability from their company’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. Notably, the employer or the insurance company should first authorize the treating doctor who makes the recommendation concerning the time you need to stay out of work.
Temporary Disability for Work-Related Injuries
How much money should you expect to receive during the time period you’re out on temporary disability leave? For many injured workers, one critical factor includes determining an average of your earnings during the last 26 weeks.
The year of your accident also plays a part in figuring out your weekly payments. You may start by calculating 70% of your average earnings. However, your temporary disability benefits (TDB) come with maximum benefits. Therefore, according to the 2019 Schedule of Disabilities and Maximum Benefits, TDB maxes out at $921 weekly.
Even if you earned $2,000 per week, the most you will receive is $921/weekly for a 2019 accident. That said, there are exceptions to the rule.
Are You Entitled to Full Salary?
If your employment involves a collective bargaining agreement, your contract may address the issue of benefits for work-related injuries. This is often the case for professional firefighters and police officers. Their earnings are generally not restricted to the yearly amounts spelled out in the Schedule of Disabilities and Maximum Benefits. Instead, these public workers can expect to receive full pay.
Private employers may also offer their employees full salary during the time they are out for on-the-job injury. It may be mandatory for the injured workers to provide their companies with checks they receive, so there is no risk of duplicating benefits.
In the meantime, NJSA 18A:30-2.1 states that individuals who work as Board of Education members may receive full salary or wages for up to one year of absence. This section of the law specifically deals with those who are out of work “as a result of a personal injury caused by an accident arising out of and in the course of…employment.”
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you were hurt at work, the Law Offices of Beninato & Matrafajlo would be pleased to offer you experienced legal advice. You will not have to pay for your initial consultation. Additionally, the court determines legal fees at the end of your case – and only for successful achievement of recovery on your behalf. Contact us to learn your rights and what to expect in pursuit of your claim.