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Our Workers’ Compensation Attorneys
Workers’ Compensation is a no-fault insurance program that compensates injured workers for medical treatment and lost wages after an accident on the job. If a serious work-related injury or illness has rendered you unemployable, you may be eligible to receive permanent total disability (PTD) benefits through Workers’ Compensation.
Basics of a total disability claim
After you have been injured on the job, you will undergo treatment for your injury. Eventually, you will reach what is called your Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). At that time, a doctor will determine whether your injury is permanent.
New Jersey workers that have been totally disabled receive 70 percent of what they were earning at the time of their injury. However, this figure cannot exceed 75 percent of the Statewide Average Weekly Wage (SAWW) in the year of the injury or fall below the minimum rate of 20 percent of the SAWW. These benefits are paid weekly for at least 450 weeks. If you remain totally disabled after those 450 weeks, the payments should continue.
Some types of accidents are so severe that the courts will “presume” that you are totally disabled. What this means is that if you suffer this type of work-related injury, you are automatically entitled to permanent total disability benefits. According to the State of New Jersey, PTD is “presumed when the worker has lost two major members or a combination of members of the body such as eyes, arms, hands, legs or feet. However, permanent total disability can also result from a combination of injuries that render the worker unemployable.”
Common injuries that may render an employee eligible for PTD benefits include:
• Lumbar disc herniation (lower back)
• Cervical disc herniation (neck)
• Spinal fracture
• Traumatic brain injury
• Head trauma
• Severe burns
• Chronic pain problems
Ways to maximize your disability benefits
The lawyers at Shebell & Shebell have been representing injured New Jersey workers for decades. We understand that serious on-the-job accidents can render you unemployable. You do not need to suffer alone. You do not need to sacrifice yourself for your employer. Workers’ Compensation disability benefits exist to help injured workers, and we know how to maximize your reward.
In 1923, the Second Injury Fund was created to encourage employers to hire disabled workers. If you have a pre-existing injury, then suffer a subsequent injury in the workplace rendering you totally disabled, you may qualify for benefits from the Second Injury Fund. Also, in many cases, we are able to get our clients Social Security disability insurance payments in addition to PTD benefits.