If you have recently suffered an injury at work or received a medical diagnosis for a condition directly related to your employment, it may be time for you to learn more about New Jersey's workers' compensation program.
You may not think that you need the benefits because you have a spouse who still has income or because you carry a private health insurance or disability policy that will cover you during your treatment for your injury or illness.
However, filing a claim for worker's compensation is often your best option after a workplace injury or illness. Your claim can help you connect with a variety of benefits, each of which can make your life easier as you recover from or acclimate to an injury or illness related to your job.
Workers' compensation offers better medical coverage
Whether you purchase your own insurance plan through the marketplace or have an employer-sponsored policy, you still likely incur certain costs associated with your care. Most insurance policies have a deductible. You will have to spend the deductible amount out-of-pocket before your insurance company will begin covering your care.
For many policies, a deductible can range from $500 all the way up to $5,000 or more for catastrophic coverage policies. Even after you reach your deductible, there will likely still be costs. You may have to pay a copay for every doctor's office visit and medication you require. Even if your co-pay is as low as $20, when you have five days of physical therapy each week, this isn't an insignificant expense.
There is also the potential for coinsurance, which requires that you either have a secondary medical policy or that you pay a certain percentage of the total cost of your care in addition to your copay and deductible. Workers' compensation covers 100% of the related medical care that you require after a workplace injury or illness.
Workers' compensation can offer you income while you recover
Workers' compensation will pay you a percentage of your total wages while you recover from your injury through temporary disability benefits. If you are unable to return to work, you may also qualify for permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.
Those benefits can help close the gap between your old income and your new income. They can also protect you if you simply can't go back to working out of the home again. In the event that you are partially disabled and unable to continue in the same career you have enjoyed for some time, disability benefits can help you close the gap between your former wage and your current wage.
There is nothing inappropriate or embarrassing about looking to secure the workers' compensation benefits you deserve as a New Jersey worker. If you run into issues with your application or have a complex situation, such as a delayed-onset illness caused by a job, working with an experienced New Jersey workers' compensation personal injury attorney could help you connect with the benefits you need.