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Understanding New Jersey WC Law and rules
#1
Dear Readers and Injured workers from NJ. I have found an excellent article on understanding NJ WC. Please read this page and if you have a technical question on your NJWC case it will be my honor to assist you in this area.  

Go to:::                   http://www.kovaclaw.com/Practice-Areas/U...stem.shtml  and read the basic of how NJWC works in the courtroom.  

I in NO way endorse this firm I am just referencing this excellent article. Certainly every situation cant be covered but that's where I may be very helpful to you. This article may draw out questions about your own  pending claim and I may offer tips on what you may do or more importantly what you should NOT do. 

1) Before you hire any WC lawyer research them. Ca,, the NJ Bar Asso. to ask about them. They should tell you how long they have been in practice, tell you if there are any disaplinaries found to be true, and they will tell you of any specialized areas of law they practice.

a) Call your family lawyer for a referral as all lawyers know, or know of each others special skills in law, they may have. Just a typical WC lawyer may call an Injured Workers Specialist to ask how to handle a difficult case. Of course you want the lawyer who receives these calls not one who makes them.

b) Ask other injured workers or a worker who was left totally disabled from a work injury and if they were impressed with their lawyers skills. 

c) Remember you hired this lawyer for his/hers expertise in WC law/ total disability law and not their bed side manners. Many GREAT lawyers dont return phone calls  you cant take this personal. These lawyers do what they do because they  are in demand and spend their day lawyering not making calls to clients. d)  

d) Never hire a lawyer because they have a full page add in the phone book, you will never find the lawyer you need especially with total disability  this way. I also have a guide on how to interview a lawyer BEFORE you hire them. Its always best to hired the lawyer you want to keep from the start
I am no lawyer just an injured worker who has seen alot and jump through all the hoops. Then I studied case law and NJWC law and rules to learn why my case was permitted to go the way it went whewn it seemed so wrong when you hear what happened this is why I am  a NJWC advocate 

BUG
 
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#2
Good to have more responders on the board. The more help the better.
Not a lot of jerseyites visit but if you branch out to help with other east coast systems like New York, Connecticut, etc we might reach more needy workers.....
Welcome aboard.
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#3
(04-18-2016, 01:00 PM)1171 Wrote: 1171,
 
Thank you for the warm welcome. I would love to reach out to other states but as you know each state has its own specific laws and I take great pride in knowing NJ WC, and NJ total disability law inside out and upside down. What makes a forum better than others is getting the correct detailed information one needs to make the right call with their own case/situation. I'd be very discouraged to have the reputation to be one who just give in general WC info that would apply to most states.
 
The good news is for now all I do for NJ studies is read current case laws to see any changes made. This may open time for me to perfect another states laws but I dont want to get to many states as that's when confusion may set in when discussing detailed laws on a specific case and I prefer to bat 1000% as I will do for this forum.
 
Im sure to see you around.  Hey maybe this site can organize itself by state.   Each state could have a section to discuss cases that way people can just go to the state they need info on and ask. That will make it easier for us to answer them  as we don't need to read 1/2 the article before we see its in a state we are not familiar with.
 
Have a super day.
 
BUG




Good to have more responders on the board. The more help the better.
Not a lot of jerseyites visit but if you branch out to help with other east coast systems like New York, Connecticut, etc we might reach more needy workers.....
Welcome aboard.
 
Reply
#4
hopefully someone that needs that level of expertise will visit and find you.
I know there are many legal sites available for state specific details about workers compensation and case law.
there is still much room for general information about this commonly misunderstood benefit system.
this site strives to help and support as many as possible at whatever depth of information they need.
hopefully you will find some posts you'll feel comfortable responding to.
be well.
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#5
Hello.  I am just about to settle my case after four long years and a double neck fusion in NJ. My attorney said that the respondent has suggested in get the maximum permanent disability. The second injury fund.  I am on SSDI as well.  My questions are: How does my attorney get paid on a second injury fund settlement?  Everything is with the judges attorney to determine the percentages of responsibility from state and respondent. Does the judge usually agree with both sides deciding on the SIF? And finally, do I get back pay for the TTD that I was cut off from at MMI three years ago all at settlement?  Hoping bugmann can help me here.  Thanks
 
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#6
(04-20-2016, 05:26 PM)jersey23 Wrote: Dear Jersey23,
 
The respondent is a very wise lawyer. You getting the 2nd injury fund (SIF) saves his client lots of money as the state assumes the the responsibility of the rest of your settlement as far as work wages go. Your carrier will still need to comp you on your neck injury which will be worked out during rotation. Rotation is when your case is called up by the Judge about every 3-4 weeks to see where the lawyers are on your case.
 
Being on SSDI will strengthen your overall position for total disability as the SSA has determined you to be in fact totally disabled. This is a very high burden of proof of total disability.  
 
OK should your application for SIF be approved at your final hearing your attorney gets 20 % of your award until you are 62 years of age, he gets paid at the time of settlement.  The SIF takes over where your TTD ended when you were MMI'd by the treating Dr. at the same rate of pay you got when on TTD.  Now NJ is one of a few states that is a reverse offset state meaning youo get your entire SSDI and the SIF makes up the rest. After 450 of SIF benefits they re-evaluate you to see if you are still totally disabled and you are given a form to take to your treating Dr who MUST WRITE YOU ARE TOTALLY AND PERMANENTLY DISABLED then your SIF benefits continue. At age 62 your SSDI converts to SS retirement then the SIF cant deduct your SS payments as they did when it was SSDI. You can get paid more than 70% of your 5 best years or your ACE, or its called double dipping and that's a NO NO! Smile Its my understanding at age 62 you get your full 70% SIF and your SSR.  See NJ/SSA law  DI 52120.165 @ https://secure.ssa.gov/poms.nsf/lnx/0452120165    please take note of  Amendment as this may change your retirement age to 65, Here it is,   DI 52101.005. I copy and pasted it from 1st link sent to you.
 
Yes, I believe the Judge is in agreement by the time settlement arrives as he/she has been involved in rotation hearings, which you are not invited to attend, however the JUDGE has final word on how settlement takes place.  I will assure you that YES you will get all your monies owed less fees owed and less SSDI paid to you to date. The SIF begins the day after you were MMI. Therefore you will receive 70% of your wages tax free unless your spouse makes 40K a yr then part of your SSDI is taxable. If I may offer advice open an account in NJ if you live in another state, or in a separate bank to have your SIF electronically deposited then get your $ via MAC card. You dont want this money tied to your bank account as you will never get a 1099 for the SIF and if you have to apply for help for Medication assistance or any other help, such as charity care at your hospital, this can be done LEGALLY without using your SIF monies as this is your comp for your loss of function.
 
I realize I added information that you did not ask for, but everything I wrote is all part of what you are getting into and knowing forehand what one gets self into, permits the IW to make all the right decisions before its too late. 
 
Please feel free to write me anytime on or off forum as you can see there may be other options open to you depending on your situation. 
 
I feel I have given you enough information to complete your case. My hat goes off to your lawyer as he did you great justice should the SIF go your way. This is why all IW who are totally disabled need a very experience WC/SS specialist as their legal rep. No ambulance chaser can do what your lawyer has done to date. Many lawyers fresh out of school go into WC law as most cases are cut and dry, but some cases are sold much to short because the lawyer lacks the expertise and/or the connections to get the proper advise on how to handle complex cases
 
Good luck my friend and I wish you  great health in the future, 
 
BUG  
 



Hello.  I am just about to settle my case after four long years and a double neck fusion in NJ. My attorney said that the respondent has suggested in get the maximum permanent disability. The second injury fund.  I am on SSDI as well.  My questions are: How does my attorney get paid on a second injury fund settlement?  Everything is with the judges attorney to determine the percentages of responsibility from state and respondent. Does the judge usually agree with both sides deciding on the SIF? And finally, do I get back pay for the TTD that I was cut off from at MMI three years ago all at settlement?  Hoping bugmann can help me here.  Thanks
 
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#7
Bugmann thanks so much.  My lawyer said a settlement should be proposed next month at the next conference after the SIF judges attorney reviews all the paperwork the respondent gave him a few weeks ago  He said the real issue now is just the percentages from the state and respondent.  Should I feel confident that it will end well? They have never treated or acknowledged responsibility for my thoracic herniated disc and several lumbar herniations.  Only my neck injury.  They said when I initially reported it I said my neck and didn't mention my back immediately.  I mentioned it a few weeks later and the comp doctor of course denied it was related to work injury. Will I get a lump sum settlement for that injury? My lawyer had said months ago that I might but does SIF cover all injuries? Can you reopen if your condition gets work after you get SIF? I have gotten a lot worse.
 
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#8
you have to be totally disabled to be eligible for SIF. you cannot be rated more then totally disabled even if you are you are worse.
SIF does not provide medical benefits.
more information about New Jersey SIF here
http://lwd.dol.state.nj.us/labor/wc/cont...f.html#SIF
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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#9
(04-20-2016, 09:29 PM)jersey23 Wrote: Jersey 23
 
If I were you I would feel confident in that your case will bring you the max award possible for your age( depending on how old you are) as the younger you are the more you would receive in cash benefits. [/i]
 
When you were told they were figuring out the %'s this means who will be paying what % for each injury as well as legal fees. Some times the JUDGE makes the carrier pay all legal fees and other times it is split up 25%you and 75% carrier as I said the final decision is up to the seated JUDGE. AS for your disc issues this is all classified as Degenerative Disc Disorder and will be broken down into %'s of liability as will the rest of your injuries.
 
No you will not be able to reopen a case that has already given you the max award. That's why I suggested keeping SIF monies separate from your household monies because should you need expensive pain medication, or get part D or a group such as Humana to go with your Medicare after 24 months of SSDI. Beware Health rider groups like Humana are all salesmen and women and I was lied to several times to sign with them, but in the end I had to go with Humana as they were the only group who would cover Fentanyl Patch TD.
 
Once you settle my advice is simple keep your weight down and get a treadmill and keep active as inactivity will be your doom!!! 
 
I agree with your lawyer you may get an award of cash settlement if there is any left over after your lawyer gets his 20% of all your award till you are 62 or maybe 65 or higher depending on that amendment which I just learn of. This is just one example of the difficulty to first learn what the state laws are then keep up with changes made as the years pass. Its impossible to offer expert advice on all states. Like 1171 stated offering other states on East coast would be helpful to many and I  am currently studying NYWC as it is similar to NJ in many ways, but different technically in some ways and the last thing I want to do is offer incorrect advice  or information.
 
If you have seen the States final shrink and he believes you to show no inappropriate behavior of a worker who has just lost his way of earning a living Sit back and wait for your final hearing date as you MUST attend this hearing as the JUDGE must be convinced that you understand  the proceedings and compensation, also you may have to answer questions from the Respondents  lawyers, in my case they had no questions for me after giving me the hardest time on Earth with bogus motions and making me see about 25 Drs etc...

BUG

PS: Always remember the SIF is NOT WC BENEFITS!!!!!!! THE ONLY NJWC BENEFITS YOUR GOT,TERMINATED AT MMI.  Dont ever offer more info than asked for to anyone whom you may have dealings with. Dont forget to send your lawyer a Christmas Card each year after your settlement. I think you will be please in the end. You have lived with no income then SSDI and now comes your last ha-raw .      





Bugmann thanks so much.  My lawyer said a settlement should be proposed next month at the next conference after the SIF judges attorney reviews all the paperwork the respondent gave him a few weeks ago  He said the real issue now is just the percentages from the state and respondent.  Should I feel confident that it will end well? They have never treated or acknowledged responsibility for my thoracic herniated disc and several lumbar herniations.  Only my neck injury.  They said when I initially reported it I said my neck and didn't mention my back immediately.  I mentioned it a few weeks later and the comp doctor of course denied it was related to work injury. Will I get a lump sum settlement for that injury? My lawyer had said months ago that I might but does SIF cover all injuries? Can you reopen if your condition gets work after you get SIF? I have gotten a lot worse.
 
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#10
error
........Each state has their own comp system; POST YOUR STATE to get accurate information.........
 
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