Are Public Employees Eligible for Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

Many public employees put themselves in harms way every day to serve the public. Police officers, firefighters, sanitation workers and corrections officers in particular face a much higher probability of being injured on the job than those in other professions. Even teachers may be at an increased risk compared to office workers, as their job can be physically demanding, and they may at times have to deal with disorderly or aggressive students.


In New Jersey, any employee who suffers an on-the-job injury while performing job-related duties is eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. All New Jersey employers not covered by federal programs (including the State of New Jersey, Counties and Municipalities) must obtain workers’ compensation coverage or self-insure. Most public entities in New Jersey are self-insured. When an employer (including a public entity employer) wants to self-insure, they must apply to the Department of Banking & Insurance, which will determine whether the entity has sufficient assets to cover all potential claims for work related injuries. The Division of Workers’ Compensation has complied a list of contact people responsible for issues concerning medical and temporary disability benefits for all of New Jersey’s public entities. That list can be accessed here.


In many cases, public workers who are injured on the job are eligible to receive “temporary disability benefits” until they can return to work. Private sector employees are entitled to receive 70 percent of their average weekly wage, not to exceed the maximum rate or fall below the minimum rate set by statute in effect during the year of their accident. Public employees may be eligible to receive up to 100 percent of their salary while on temporary disability leave.


However, because public entities usually self-insure, this can mean that injured workers must wait longer to receive their benefits than those who work in the private sector, where employers generally carry Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage.


If you have suffered any of the following accidents or injuries while serving the public, we can help:

  • Work-related car accidents
  • Workplace slip and fall injuries
  • Work-related physical assaults
  • Work-related hearing loss
  • Work-related burns or smoke inhalation injuries
  • Work-related gun shot wounds
  • Any other workplace injury


The Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Shebell & Shebell Help Injured Public Workers Get Disability Benefits

If you have sustained an on-the-job injury that is keeping you out of work, our savvy Workers’ Compensation lawyers at Shebell & Shebell can help you recover temporary disability benefits relatively quickly. You don’t have to navigate the complex system of temporary disability benefits on your own. We represent injured workers throughout the State of New Jersey, including Monmouth County, Middlesex County, and Ocean County, including Howell, Freehold, Middletown, Shrewsbury, Wall, Keansburg, Asbury Park, Long Branch, Union Beach and Neptune. For a free consultation, call us at 732-532-2011 or contact us online today.