In New Jersey, the Department of Labor determines workers’ compensation benefits using charts. They update these charts every year to reflect the earned wages by workers throughout the state. The charts are separated into different body parts like fingers, hand, foot, leg, arm and a catch-all category of partial total disability which covers injured body parts outside the other designated areas such as shoulder, neck or back injuries. As accident lawyers in South Jersey, we have familiarized ourselves with these charts.
There is a two-year limit to file a claim for permanency benefits.
- Two years from the date of accident OR the last date of authorized worker’s comp medical care. If you receive treatment on your own and workers’ comp does NOT approve or pay for it, then the two-year limit does not apply.
- For example, if you are injured in 2013 and receive three years of workers’ comp medical care, then you’ll have a five-year statute from date of accident.
Permanency Benefits Paid Over Time
There are two types of permanency settlements. There is the Section 20 settlement, where you receive a lump sum, however, you can’t reopen the case. The other type is where you get a percentage based on the chart, and you can reopen the case. There are benefits and drawbacks to both settlements so hire a lawyer that can determine which one is best for you.
These benefits are given in proportion to the number of weeks gone by since the last payment for temporary disability and the amount of the permanency award. For instance, if a settlement rewards you for 25% of partial total disability, you will receive payment over the course of 150 weeks. You’ll receive a payment of a lump sum for the number of weeks since the temporary disability ended and continue to receive payments every week that are equal to the payments listed on the chart. Moreover, if you reached a settlement two years after the temporary disability ended, you’d receive a lump sum of 104 weeks while receiving weekly payments for the next 46 weeks.
Reopening A Case For Additional Permanency Benefits
A majority of workers’ compensation settlements can be reopened as long as you file a formal claim petition with the workers’ compensation division within two years since the last disability payment. A more important date to remember is that of the settlement determining the last payment. If you want to reopen a case for additional permanency award, an increase in disability over the previous award must have occurred. Reopened cases like these are difficult to prove. They must be based on recently required treatment and objective evidence of the disability increase.
Here’s what a recent client of ours had to say:
“My experience with The Law Offices of Vincent J. Ciecka, P.C. was great. Mr. Dennin was straightforward and explained everything to me to make sure I understood exactly what was to happen and how things would be going forward. They were very compassionate about my condition at the time and took everything into consideration for the situation I was in. Mr. Dennin did an excellent job representing and settling my case.”
If you are searching for a workers compensation lawyer near Burlington County, NJ or another nearby area, please call 856-283-0589 to schedule your free consultation!