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What you should know about workers' compensation

Having to file for workers' compensation coverage in New Jersey can be a challenging process. One of the most important things for workers to do is to become familiar with some of the ins and outs of this program. It isn't always easy to determine what you should and shouldn't do while navigating the workers' compensation system.

Because there are many different circumstances in these cases, you might need to find out how the laws will apply to your case. Here are some of the common questions that might come up.

How do I get workers' compensation?

When you are injured at work, you need to let a supervisor or someone in authority know. That person will then file an injury report. You should seek medical care right away, if necessary. If you don't know whether you need immediate treatment but you later develop painful or worrisome symptoms, you should then seek a complete medical evaluation. In New Jersey, the insurance company or employer can decide where you can seek medical care.

Your employer will file paperwork for your claim with the insurance company that provides the workers' compensation coverage. If an employer refuses to file this paperwork to alert the insurance company, you might be able to file the claim yourself. It might also be possible to file a complaint with the Division of Workers' Compensation.

Typically, it takes two weeks from the filing date to receive wage replacement benefits. There is a chance that you might be due for a 25 percent increase in benefits if the payment is unreasonably delayed. In most cases, a delay of 30 days meets this requirement.

What is the wage replacement for workers' compensation?

The wage replacement for workers' compensation is known as temporary disability benefits. You can be paid up to 70 percent of your average weekly wage if you are unable to work due to the injury. In order to receive this benefit, you have to miss work for seven days. These days don't have to be consecutive and can include weekends and holidays as long as you are unable to work due to your injury.

Remember, the statute of limitations is only two years for workers' compensation claims. Once this time passes, you might not be able to take action or your possible awards might be limited.

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