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An overview of workers' compensation benefits

All employers in New Jersey are required to have workers' compensation insurance so that workers who are injured on the job can file for benefits under the workers' compensation program. The benefits themselves may vary based on the extent of the injuries; the following is just an overview of what they may cover.

First, the benefits will cover all medical expenses relating to the injury, including the cost of treatments, prescriptions and travel to and from the hospital. To reimburse victims for the income lost during their physical recovery, the program can then provide temporary disability payments. These do not cover all lost wages but, on average, two-thirds of the victim's weekly gross pay and are paid out every two weeks.

Those who do not recover fully from their injuries may receive a permanent disability payment. The amount depends on factors like the severity of the injury and the victim's age and occupation. A vocational rehabilitation benefit may be added in some cases to help victims find new work.

Victims who can work their old job but not to the same extent as before can receive wage loss benefits. If they find different work and start to earn wages equal to, or greater than, what they earned before their injury, then they may stop receiving workers' compensation benefits.

There is a lot more about workers' compensation law that victims will need to know before filing their claim. The process might also be complicated by the fact that employers can deny payment if there is evidence that victims themselves were to blame for their injuries. If the claim is denied, victims could mount an appeal. For these and other reasons, it may be wise to consult an attorney. An attorney may also explain when settlements can be achieved.

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