Disability in Cherry Hill Workers’ Compensation Cases

While suffering a workplace injury can be an overwhelming situation, know that you do not need to face it alone. A dedicated injury attorney with knowledge about disability in Cherry Hill workers’ compensation cases can aim to protect your rights and fight for the benefits you deserve. Read on to learn more about what constitutes a permanent or partial disability in Cherry Hill workers’ compensation cases, as well as the ways a lawyer could offer you their assistance today.

What Constitutes Disability in the Realm of Workers’ Compensation?

In workers’ compensation, a disability warranting a payment occurs if the injured employee cannot work at all as a result of their accident. If the authorized doctor has an opinion that the injured worker cannot work, then they will be entitled to temporary benefits. Once the employee has reached the point at which they are able to do any kind of work, then they will no longer be eligible for temporary benefits. In New Jersey, there are temporary benefits, permanent partial total disability benefits, and permanent total disability benefits.

Temporary Benefits

Temporary disability only lasts for as long as the doctors have an opinion that the injured worker cannot work anymore. One’s temporary benefits are the weekly check that is paid to the injured worker for as long as the doctors decide that he or she cannot work. These benefits are based upon 70% of an employee’s average weekly wage and are awarded for the duration that the individual must stay home recuperating from their injury. 

Compensation for Total and Partial Disability

Permanent partial total disability is a loss of bodily function that is permanent in nature, but less than 100% disabling. In other words, the injured worker has restrictions on their work activities but they are still able to perform the basic work functions of their job.

There is a provision in New Jersey workers’ compensation for total disability, which means that someone is permanently disabled from all types of employment. If one’s injuries are severe enough and the doctors give an opinion that an employee is totally permanently disabled, then the injured worker can seek to obtain those benefits for the rest of their life.

The Role of State Disability

State disability in Cherry Hill workers’ compensation cases could come into play if an individual’s claim is denied. If someone is injured at work and they pursue a workers’ compensation claim, the employer or their insurance carrier may deny that the claim is compensable. In that situation, an employee may turn to applying for State Temporary Disability so they can at least find a way to survive while out of work. The state will pay those benefits as long as the injured worker can get a doctor to sign the disability form stating that they are out of work and are temporarily disabled.

The state will also ask the worker to sign an agreement asserting that if the employee is successful in recovering workers’ compensation benefits, then they are obligated to reimburse the state for any monies that they paid. They will give the benefits in an effort to help the injured worker along, but if it is ultimately determined that someone else should have paid those benefits, the law allows them to take back that compensation.

Settling a Case

Most cases aim to settle one’s permanency benefits. After an employee is examined by two separate doctors and they disagree on the extent of their disability, a skilled injury attorney will work to negotiate a resolution with the other side. After compromising on what the agreed-upon disability amount is, that agreement has to be approved by a workers’ compensation judge for the employee to receive the allowed benefits. The employee’s attorney prepares all the paperwork in the case and presents it to the judge. There is a short hearing conducted where the judge’s responsibility is to ensure that the injured workers understand the settlement, what benefits they are receiving, what rights they are giving up, and that the agreement is fair and reasonable.

If you wish to learn more about what constitutes a compensable disability in Cherry Hill workers’ compensation cases, reach out to a professional injury attorney today for your initial consultation.