New Jersey Workers’ Compensation and Pre-Existing Conditions

workers compensation and pre-existing conditions

Away from all the gloomy news that’s been doing the rounds, retired coal miners finally have some good developments to cheer about. Congress recently reached a deal to fund United Mine Workers’ health care benefits with around $1 trillion in federal funding.  More than 22,000 coal miners will breathe a sigh of relief, who were negatively affected by this ailing industry.

Almost along the same lines, lawmakers are exploring options to secure health benefits for a workforce that are increasingly moving towards freelance type work, away from the traditional full-time employment. Challenges like healthcare, and on the job injuries are difficult to plan for and require a creative approach.

With the government health care bill getting house approval, there’s a lot of debate on how pre-existing conditions will affect healthcare not just relating to workers’ compensation but as a whole, and what consequences it might have on workers’ compensation for states.

Benefits under New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Act include Medical benefits for treatment and hospitalization services and related expenses. The employer can appoint a specific physician, with whom you would consult for treatment.

You’re free to choose a physician in case your employer refuses to pay expenses for treatment or in the case of an emergency.

Disability Benefits in New Jersey:

  • You’ll receive temporary disability benefits when you’re injured at work and can’t work for more than 7 You’ll receive 70% of your average weekly wage but not more than 75% of statewide weekly average wage. With maximum benefit rate being $896 and minimum rates being $239, these are 2017 wage rates. Once you’re deemed fit to get back to work your benefits will cease.
  • If you have a job-related injury in one of the following body parts such as arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, toes, eyes, ears or teeth, it’s termed as a “scheduled loss”. You’re eligible for partial permanent disability on a weekly basis after the payout of temporary disability benefits has completed. The maximum and minimum benefits rates in 2017 are $896 and $35.
  • If a person is permanently disabled due to a work-related injury, weekly benefits are provided for a period of 450 weeks. If the person is unable to return to work and earn wages beyond a period of 450 weeks, the compensation will be in line with temporary disability benefits.

 

Now, insurance companies would always want to keep the ratio of relatively unhealthy people as low as possible, so they don’t lose a lot of money. Two ways of achieving this would be to either increase premium rates or disallow people with pre-existing conditions.

In spite of that fact, according to a recent survey, the national median for Workers’ Compensation Insurance premium is about $1.84 per $100 of payroll. New Jersey ranked second in the US, only after California with compensation rates of $2.92 per $100 in payroll.

 

Are You Aware Of These Facts About NJ Workers’ Compensation?

  • Employers in New Jersey are required to cover workers’ compensation if they aren’t covered by Federal programs. Employers who are out-of-state employers must abide by the state’s workers’ compensation if they employ people from the state or if the work is performed in NJ.
  • New Jersey law fines employers $5,000 a day over a 10-day period if they fail to carry workers’ compensation insurance.

 

With the recent changes in laws surrounding healthcare, it may be difficult for you to keep track of its effect on local laws.

In that case, it becomes all the more important to consult a work injury lawyer if you’ve suffered a work-related injury for your workers’ compensation case.

Hurt at work? Don't know what to do? Contact Goldberg & Wolf

Need Help?

If you or someone you know was injured at work or has pre-existing conditions and needs helps or simply has questions, the good attorneys at Goldberg and Wolf are more than happy to help. You can contact us or call 856-651-1600.