What Is the Minimum Salary For New Jersey Workers to Receive Workers’ Compensation?

An experienced Workers´ Compensation team of attorneys will guide you all the way to get a fair outcome in your case.

What Is the Minimum Salary For New Jersey Workers to Receive Workers’ Compensation?Being injured on the job opens the door for a myriad of complex, often overwhelming questions. What is workers’ compensation?  If you are hurt at work, workers’ compensation is an insurance provided by your employer used to cover medical costs, rehabilitation (if necessary), and lost wages while you are recovering. Occupational hazards, temporary/total disability, permanent impairment, and death benefits are also covered.

Workers’ compensation began in the early 1900s and was available for federal workers only.  Later, each state would provide it for all employees, be they government or private employees. By the 1950s, all states had workers’ compensation laws on the books; however, as the programs are determined by the state government, the laws may differ according to the state in which you reside, including New Jersey and elsewhere across the United States. It is important to get all of the facts and be sure you are receiving the benefits you are entitled to.

Why Is Workers’ Compensation Important?

Employees are entitled to be covered under workers’ compensation because on-the-job injuries or work-related illnesses can be expensive, and proving negligence in court on the part of your employer is a tough row to hoe.  Workers’ compensation allows employees to receive financial assistance quickly.  It is well known that illness and injuries are unfortunately a frequent occurrence in the workplace, and this benefit provides economic support during the worker’s recovery. Business owners don’t have to fight a lawsuit for every workers’ injury because their employees are covered in terms of lost wages and medical treatment.

What Are the Kinds of Benefits Offered Through Workers’ Compensation?

Permanent Total Benefits are given when a worker, due to his or her injury or illness, is incapable of returning to work of any type due to their condition.  Permanent Partial Benefits are given when someone loses a limb or vital body part such as the eyes or incurs damage to a major organ.  Temporary Total Disability Benefits are given when a person is out more than seven days due to an injury or illness. For an injury or illness that is work-related but does not cause an extended physical debilitation, Medical Benefits such as medications, doctor’s appointments, physical therapy or chiropractic appointments, and hospitalization services, along with diagnostic tools such as ultrasounds, MRI’s, CAT scans, x-rays, and others.

What Are the Death Benefits Provided by Workers´Compensation?

No one wants to think about an accident or illness that leads to the death of a loved one but having a source of income after a tragedy can certainly put minds at ease. Death benefits start from the date of the employee’s passing.  Some benefits end later than others depending upon whether or not the worker qualifies for extended benefits.  The beneficiaries include the spouse, a dependent child, a dependent grandchild, or the deceased’s parents when there are no other beneficiaries.  There is also a burial benefit which pays between $4,000 and $12,000 depending upon the benefits obtained and state guidelines.

What is the Base Salary to Receive Workers’ Compensation and How Much Does It Pay?

What is the Base Salary to Receive Workers’ Compensation and How Much Does It Pay in NJ?To qualify for worker’s compensation, a person must earn a minimum of $34,320. For regular biweekly payments, workers’ compensation recipients receive 66% of their salary amount—a minimum of $34,320. In general, that would apply to the majority of full-time workers. Frequently, workers’ compensation recipients agree to a settlement rather than monthly payments. The settlement covers everything from lost wages and medical costs to scarring or deformations due to the injury.  There is no way to estimate an average amount of compensation as each case is unique, but they usually range between $3,000 and $50,000.  When a settlement is decided, the beneficiary agrees not to seek further legal action against the employer, which is beneficial to the insurance company and keeps the employer’s premiums reasonable.

Contact our Team of workers’ compensation attorneys for an initial free consultation.

Whenever dealing with legal and financial affairs, it is always a good idea to seek legal counsel. At Kamensky, Cohen, and Riechelson, we pride ourselves on listening and taking our clients through their legal process clearly and effectively. We can help you to submit your claim and make sure your rights are protected. Our convenient offices Trenton have allowed us to serve countless clients with workers’ compensation matters throughout Mercer County and the greater South Jersey region.

If you need personalized advisement and assistance for a case in Princeton, Hamilton, Robbinsville, Hopewell, Pennington, Lawrence, or other New Jersey towns, our skilled legal professionals are prepared to help. Contact (609) 528-2596 to speak to a workers’ compensation attorney with experience about your particular claim.

Qualifying for Both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability in NJ

Read on to learn more about the difference between workers’ compensation and social security disability benefits and whether you can apply for both.

Obtaining Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability Benefits in NJAccidents and injuries in the workplace happen. When accidents occur at your place of work as a result of negligence or an unsafe working environment, your employer is responsible for supporting your recovery from injury, including providing the financial support to cover medical expenses, working time lost while you are recovering, and potentially long-term effects on your capacity to function in your profession.

One question many people have when they are injured on the job is whether they can apply for workers’ compensation benefits and social security disability benefits or whether they are mutually exclusive.

What is the difference between Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability?

Workers’ compensation is a program of the state of New Jersey, managed by the state. Social Security Disability is a federal program. While both apply to financial support in the case of injury on the job, they are distinct.

Workers’ compensation benefits vary from state to state. By design, they are a temporary offering, though permanent disability benefits do exist. Workers’ comp is designed to support the financial needs of an injured employee while they await federal Social Security Disability Insurance benefits (SSDI).

Am I eligible to receive both Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability benefits?

As noted above, because the programs operate at different levels, you are eligible to receive benefits from both programs, assuming that you apply. Disability benefits (SSDI) are only applied following provision of a claim if as a result of your workplace injury, you have been in no way able to work for a period of one calendar year, or if you have sustained an injury or illness that expects to result in your death. At the federal level, disability benefits are only offered for complete disability, not partial, so if you are able to work part-time or partially, your SSDI claim will be denied.

Does receiving workers’ compensation benefits in any way change your likelihood of receiving Social Security Disability benefits? No. The two programs are unique and separate.

How can I know if I qualify for SSDI?

The process of qualifying for Social Security Disability Insurance is based on the Social Security Administration’s Blue Book, a guide that determines a claimant’s qualification for benefits. Specific conditions are noted as being eligible for disability insurance, and the Blue Book breaks these conditions down by a system of the body and medical ailments that may be affecting that system. In addition to simply identifying the illness and part of the body affected, the Blue Book specifies the impact that the illness or disease has on the person in order to determine whether the claimant qualifies for benefits under the Social Security Disability Insurance Program. Such determinants include the origin of the illness or disease, and whether the work directly or indirectly caused it; the extent of the illness and, in the case that it is a long-standing disease, how much damage it has done to the body in its spread; and how successful initial medical treatment (likely covered by New Jersey’s workers’ compensation How can I know if I qualify for SSDI?program) has been in removing the cause.

As one would expect, it is essential that the claimant has detailed documentation of the illness or disease from its onset, what medical treatments and expenses have been involved in care thus far, how the body has responded to such treatments, and other pertinent information. Without this detailed information, an SSDI claim will be denied by the Social Security Administration, and workers’ compensation benefits may lapse without ongoing financial support.

How is the amount of workers’ compensation and SSDI benefits one receives calculated?

One way in which state workers’ compensation benefits and federal SSDI benefits are aligned is in the fact that one cannot receive more than 80 percent of their income in benefits. Even if, due to expenses, the amount you are entitled to receive is greater than this 80 percent, the amount of the additional benefits will be subtracted to value the 80 percent of your income.

To ensure that you navigate your workers’ compensation and SSDI claims successfully, seek the support of a skilled and experienced attorney.

Contact our Workers’ Compensation Attorney for a free consultation

If you have been injured on the job, knowing what benefits you can receive and how to go about pursuing the resources to meet your financial and medical needs is essential. For this reason, it is key to engage with an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer who knows the system in New Jersey inside and out based on years of handling cases of this kind.

Contact The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, serving all Mercer County workers and employers, by calling (609) 528-2596 to speak with an attorney regarding your particular workers’ compensation case. We will examine the situation that you’re in after being injured on the job and discuss your options for obtaining workers’ comp, social security benefits, and possible damages for personal injury. Get straight, honest answers about a case in Trenton, Hamilton, Princeton, Lawrence Township, East Windsor, Hopewell, and surrounding areas by contacting us today.

Not All Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in NJ

New Jersey´s workers’ compensation is a “no-fault” insurance scheme that pays for medical care, salary replacement, and long-term disability benefits to employees who are injured or sick on the job.

Not All Injuries are Covered by Workers’ Compensation in NJ Workers’ compensation also pays death benefits to the dependents of workers who died as a result of their work. Regardless of who was to blame, a wounded employee will be compensated. Except in circumstances of deliberate conduct, the worker does not have the right to sue the employer for pain and suffering or other damages in return for these promised benefits.

There is a common misconception that any injury sustained at work must be compensated by workers’ compensation. That, however, is not the case. There are various types of work-related injuries that are just not compensable. Workers’ compensation never includes injuries that are outside of work. An injury must not only occur at work, but it must also not occur outside of work. There are several important principles in every state that assist clarify and expand on the meaning of “not arising out of employment” for catastrophic injuries.

Personal Risk Claims and Idiopathic Claims

These two doctrines have a lot in common. When an employee has a prior medical condition that is the real cause of the damage, the term “idiopathic” is used. An employee with severe osteoarthritis, for example, is going down the hall at work when his knee locks, but he does not collapse. The doctor checks the patient and determines that the act of walking has caused more knee injury due to severe osteoarthritis. Because the injury was totally personal to the employee and not caused by employment, this is a classic idiopathic claim.

Consider an employee who has had previous shoulder dislocation troubles who puts on her coat to go home after work and has a fresh shoulder dislocation. Despite the fact that it occurred at work, it was not caused by it. The petitioner was simply doing what we all do when we leave work on a cold day: putting on our jackets. Shoulder dislocations are considered idiopathic, meaning they are not caused by work-related activities.

Abandonment of Employment

There are two key applications for this theory. The first is an activity that is either unrelated to work or so far removed from it that a reasonable person would never engage in it. For example, a lawyer standing outside his office phones a colleague sitting at his desk on his mobile phone, requesting him to come outside and assist him in carrying work files inside the office. Instead of walking down the stairs or taking the elevator, the colleague opens his window and leaps 20 feet to the ground, fracturing his leg. Jumping from a window is such a dangerous action that no sane person would undertake it. Although the injury occurred at work, it would not be considered a job-related incident. An employer should not be required to insure against acts that are intrinsically risky and that no rational person would engage in.

Intentional Self-Injury

This is a type of self-injury when employees who harm themselves on purpose are nearly invariably refused compensation. If an enraged employee punches a wall at work and breaks her hand, the damage would not be compensable since striking a wall is extremely likely to result in self-harm. Similarly, if Employee A assaults Employee B and is hurt as a result, courts will nearly invariably rule that the injury was self-inflicted and not compensable. Employee B’s injuries would, of course, be covered as an assault victim.

Sports and Recreational Activities

Let’s say an employee chooses to bring out some rope during his morning break, go away from his desk, and jump rope for a few minutes, only to get her foot twisted up in the rope, resulting in an injury. Is this anything that would be covered by workers’ compensation? Isn’t it true that that happened at work? Recreational activities that only benefit the employee’s health are not covered under New Jersey law, thus this would not be compensable. To be covered, a recreational activity must provide a benefit to the employer that is higher than health and morale, and it must be a regular occurrence at work. Few leisure activities can claim to provide a bigger value to the employer than improved health and morale. The same may be said for social activities.

Personal Risk Claims and Idiopathic Claims NJ However, if two employees are joking around at work and one throws a pencil at the other as a joke, but the pencil hits the other employee in the eye, the court would likely see this conduct as horseplay – – not recreational. Horseplay is not a defense in New Jersey, unlike in many other states. Horseplay is always compensable for the victim and occasionally for the initiator. There is a distinction to be made between horseplay and assaults/altercations, and the results may vary depending on whether that distinction is crossed.

Workers’ compensation rules are intended to establish a fair process for getting benefits after being injured or sick at work. These statutes are frequently difficult to comprehend. If you miss a deadline or fail to complete the proper papers, you may be denied the benefits you are entitled to.

Retain our Trenton NJ  Workers Compensation Attorney Today

At The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson, we represent clients with workers’ compensation and personal injury claims in Princeton, Trenton, and the greater Mercer County area. So whether you have yet to decide your next steps fully or are ready to move forward immediately, our knowledgeable team of attorneys is only a phone call away.

You can call us at 609.528.2596 or contact us through our online contact form for a free and confidential consultation to discuss your individual needs and concerns.

Pulmonary and Respiratory Injuries: Can I Get Workers’ Comp for COPD in NJ?

Filing Workers’ Comp for COPD? Let a Professional Attorney Handle the Key Factors to Understanding Your Occupational Injury Claim

Pulmonary and Respiratory Injuries: Can I Get Workers’ Comp for COPD in NJ?Workplace-related injuries probably make you think of an accident that resulted in immediate harm or personal injury to a person. The reality is occupational illnesses can result from one event or continued exposure in the workplace that causes or contributes to a condition or worsens a pre-existing condition.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) lists chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) as the fourth leading cause of death among the U.S. population. COPD refers to a group of incurable but treatable diseases affecting over 16 million Americans and which cause airflow blockage and breathing-related problems. Although it is primarily the consequence of tobacco smoking, it also includes asthma, emphysema, pneumonia, and chronic bronchitis. The CDC believes millions of more Americans suffer from COPD but are undiagnosed and are not treated for this condition.

Many whose occupational illness goes undiagnosed are those who work in grain and textile manufacturing, the farming industry, former and current military personnel, people who work on construction sites, mix and pour concrete, assist painters or electricians, install sheetrock, paneling, or household tile, who work in waste removal or remove hazardous debris and materials, operate heavy machinery, or even assemble temporary structures. This group may also include those who operate dump trucks, forklifts, asphalt rollers, mixer trucks, crew buses, and fuel trucks, even though they rarely handle toxic products directly.

These workers are exposed to numerous toxic and carcinogenic inhalants and agents in the workplace. Through prolonged exposure gradually produce severe irritation and scarring to the lung tissue once inhaled.

If you or a family member is struggling with COPD, has a history of occupational asbestos exposure, or have developed lung problems over time as a result of poor workplace safety practices, talk to an experienced workers’ comp and personal injury attorney about possible financial compensation, you might be entitled to.

The workers’ compensation and personal injury lawyers at Kamensky Cohen & Riechelson (KCR) are strong advocates for the legal rights of injured workers. We have been helping clients file workers’ compensation claims in New Jersey and Pennsylvania across Bucks County towns, including Bensalem, Northeast Philadelphia, Levittown, Feasterville, Millbrook, Penndel, and all of Southeastern Pennsylvania since 1972. KCR will represent you throughout the legal process and stand by your side during settlement negotiations and in workers’ compensation court. We will see that you get the medical and income benefits you deserve.

Contact us online or at (609) 528-2596 from New Jersey or (215) 337-4915 from Pennsylvania to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation with an attorney at our Trenton or Pennington offices.

Common Symptoms of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease or COPD

Between 20% – 70% of recordable workplace injuries and illnesses are under-recorded or not recorded at all. Many of these include Occupational COPD, which has been linked with exposure to nonspecific vapors, gases, dust, and fumes. Typical symptoms include:

  • wheezing
  • continuous coughing (which contains mucus or blood)
  • skin discoloration due to lack of oxygen (e., blue/purple due especially around the lips and nails)
  • shortness of breath (which can prevent one from strenuous activity or exercise)

Unfortunately, COPD cannot be reversed, although new treatments are being developed every year. If you find yourself experiencing these symptoms, visit a doctor immediately.

How Can I File a Workers’ Compensation Claim for Workplace Illnesses Like COPD?

Respiratory damage is one of the most common aggravations or exacerbation injuries. Workplace exposures contribute to the largest range of nonmalignant lung conditions in adults. Despite the common misconception that you can only file for a workers’ compensation claim if you’re physically injured in the workplace, you can actually qualify for workers’ comp benefits for many occupational illnesses like COPD. Many aggravation injuries can prevent you from ever returning to work, which may entitle you to permanent disability benefits.

The initial stages of COPD may be minor enough for you to keep working. To reduce the impact of this condition on your physical and mental well-being, you need to take care of your lungs. Depending on where you work, one solution may be to request a cleaner work environment and less strenuous work if you are often short of breath. Another remedy might be requesting a shift change, fewer hours, or possibly less pay.

That’s why you must have the assistance of an experienced workers’ comp lawyer.

Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson is prepared to assist you with your workers’ compensation claim. We understand the hardships you face: medical expenses, wage loss, pain and suffering, the wrongful death of a loved one, and insurance companies that say “no.” We will personally work with you and guide you through the legal process.

We handle all workers’ comp cases on a contingency fee basis; we only get paid after receiving compensation for your illness.

Contact Our Northeast Philadelphia and Hamilton, NJ Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you were injured at work or got an occupational disease through your work activities, your financial future, physical health, and emotional well-being are jeopardized. It would help if you addressed this serious matter by talking to a trusted and experienced Workers’ Comp lawyer who knows how to handle problematic insurers, submit your medical records and documentation and get your claim approved.

Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has extensive experience representing the victims of work injuries across New Jersey and Pennsylvania. We can help with your worker’s compensation claim, and even if, for any reason, you have been denied, we will assist you with the appeal.

Contact us online or at (609) 528-2596 from New Jersey or (215) 337-4915 from Pennsylvania for an absolutely free attorney consultation. When you have questions about a COPD or other workers’ compensation case, our firm can help.

Injured on the Job Due to Malfunctioning Equipment in New Jersey

Serving Workers in Trenton, Princeton, Pennington, Lawrence, and East Windsor NJ

Injured on the Job Due to Malfunctioning Equipment in New Jersey?If you are currently suffering from an on-the-job injury or require medical attention because of faulty equipment or machinery in your workplace, you have more options than you may realize.

If you work with machines in a warehouse, construction site, or factory, you probably feel grateful for the efficiency and speed of all kinds of equipment. Work is done faster and easier with machines’ assistance. Many businesses and industries rely upon machines on a day-to-day basis to get things done.

Sometimes, however, those pieces of equipment and machinery add complexity and risk of injury to the workplace.

Unfortunately, everyday employees are usually the ones that suffer when things go wrong. Fortunately, they do not have to do it alone.

Without their regular income and serious injuries sustained on the job, employees and their families depend on workers’ compensation to stay afloat. When these benefits are delayed or denied, people struggle to survive.

To make matters worse, malfunctioning equipment accidents are often caused by the negligence of employers and/or third parties.

Therefore, many injured workers turn to attorneys like those at The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson to either a) pursue workers’ comp benefits from the employer; or b) to file a personal injury lawsuit against the manufacturer, when appropriate.

Faulty Equipment

Equipment can malfunction in all kinds of ways. The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has handled many types of workers’ compensation claims, including ones that involve the following accidents:

  • The worker comes in contact with sharp edges, moving machinery parts, or wiring;
  • The worker is struck by, or collides with, equipment or machinery;
  • The worker becomes trapped or entangled with the moving parts of equipment; or
  • The worker is hit by a part or parts of the equipment that become loose and eject from the machine.

Each of these unfortunate events involving equipment or machines can cause serious injury. In many instances, the ramifications of contact with, impact from, or entanglement in a machine can lead to life-damaging injuries. The most common injuries from equipment malfunction include:

  • scrapes, cuts, and lacerationsFaulty Equipment
  • bruises
  • burns
  • dismemberment
  • head, eye, or ear injuries, and
  • damage to nerves or tendons.

After a Workplace Accident

If you are injured on the job, you should not “shake off” or ignore burns, cuts, or head injuries. That’s because more serious or lasting symptoms could develop. Instead, you need to report the incident to your employers, seek medical attention, and file a workers’ compensation claim.

You may suspect your accident was caused by someone else’s negligence (or extreme carelessness), so you may want to speak to an attorney, as well.

When your lawyer has done a thorough investigation, he can help you choose a course of action. If the equipment is faulty, you may be able to recover compensation from its manufacturer. If a person or entity who doesn’t work for your employer (a third party) caused your accident, you might also be able to recover civil damages.

Equipment accidents are complicated, and many factors can contribute to this type of event. Consequently, choosing the right form of legal action can be difficult.

If you were not in charge of designing or maintaining the equipment that harmed you, it might be difficult for you to answer questions about design flaws and wear and tear.

Fortunately, when it comes to workers’ compensation claims, the one question you need to answer is:

Did the accident occur at work?

Safe Work Environment Around Machines

The Occupational Health and Safety Administration (OSHA) has written specific standards for the operation of equipment. The agency employs many inspectors to enforce these standards, and it imposes fines when a company fails to comply. However, this does not mean that every machine and piece of equipment in your workplace is up to OSHA’s standards. Employees should inspect equipment or machines before they use them.

Although it is not required under New Jersey workers’ compensation law, in our experience, an employer should be notified any time there is a malfunction, defect, or misuse of equipment.

Taking Action

Operation of equipment and machinery in a place of business is clearly work-related activity, and most injured employees receive adequate compensation for medical costs from a workers’ compensation insurance provider.

However, when equipment malfunction causes a long-term or permanent disability, insurance companies often try to settle with employees by offering inappropriately small settlements.

We advise that you call a New Jersey workers’ compensation lawyer before signing any workers’ compensation settlement.

Workers’ Compensation and Personal Injury Lawyer

The Law Office of Kamensky, Cohen & Riechelson has previously represented clients across New Jersey in workers’ compensation claims and personal injury cases, with great success.

Our experience with on-the-job injuries and our knowledge of the reactions of insurance providers and how they process claims could be helpful for your case.

Do not hesitate to call us at (609) 528-2596 or fill out an online form for a free consultation to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.