Suffering a workplace injury is the last thing the average employee wants. After all, people work because they want to make money, not because they want to end up disabled and struggling to make ends meet financially.
Unfortunately, professionals across the state of New Jersey end up hurt at work every single day. Thankfully, there are protections in place under New Jersey workers' compensation that help ensure injured workers aren't left destitute as a result of their injuries. One of the most important benefits available to workers who get hurt on the job is the protection of temporary disability benefits.
Temporary disability helps replace lost income
Suffering an injury so severe that you cannot return to work often means you have a lot of medical bills to worry about. At the same time, you will not have the income you typically need to pay all of your monthly expenses. That can leave you and the rest of your family in a precarious position.
It only takes a few weeks without wages to leave many people at risk of losing their homes. Others may be unable to continue paying on lines of credit, which could leave them vulnerable to repossession of their vehicles or other collection activities.
Temporary disability benefits through New Jersey workers' compensation will replace a portion of the lost wages that an injured worker would have otherwise earned. Typically, the state benefit covers 70 percent of the average weekly income of the injured worker, up to an annually adjusted maximum benefit, which was $921 per week in 2018. That payment can soften the financial blow of being unable to work until your injuries heal.
Benefits stop when you are able to return to work
As the name implies, temporary disability benefits are intended for workers who will eventually recover from their injuries. The payments will continue until the worker can return to their job and resume earning an income.
Typically, workers' compensation will require that you routinely see a medical professional while receiving temporary disability benefits. Once medical professionals clear you to return to work, even if you will require accommodations from your employer, temporary disability payments will end. For those who discover that they are not recovering as they had hoped, they require transitioning over to permanent disability benefits.
Regardless of how quickly an injured worker heals and recovers, they, at least, have the protection that comes from the New Jersey workers' compensation insurance program, which often serves as a last line of financial protection for those injured on the job. New Jersey workers' compensation helps ensure that no one who works for a living ends up unable to provide for themselves as a result of a workplace injury.