34:15-34. Time for claiming compensation for occupational disease.
Notwithstanding the time limitation for the filing of claims for compensation as set forth in sections 34:15-41 and 34:15-51, or as set forth in any other section of this Title, there shall be no time limitation upon the filing of claims for compensation for compensable occupational disease, as herein above defined; provided, however, that where a claimant knew the nature of the disability and its relation to the employment, all claims for compensation for compensable occupational disease except as herein provided shall be barred unless a petition is filed in duplicate with the secretary of the division in Trenton within 2 years after the date on which the claimant first knew the nature of the disability and its relation to the employment; provided further, that in case an agreement of compensation for compensable occupational disease has been made between such employer and such claimant, then an employee's claim for compensation shall be barred unless a petition for compensation is duly filed with such secretary within 2 years after the failure of the employer to make payment pursuant to the terms of such agreement; or in case a part of the compensation has been paid by such employer, then within 2 years after the last payment of compensation. It is the express intention of the Legislature that, except in any case where claim is made for asbestosis, radiation poisoning, siderosis, anthracosis, silicosis, mercury poisoning, beryllium poisoning, chrome poisoning, lead poisoning or any occupational disease having the same characteristics of the above enumerated diseases as subsequently determined by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health, the provisions of this section shall not be applied retroactively but shall be applied only to those employees who shall cease to have been exposed in the course of employment to causes of compensable occupational diseases as defined in 34:15-31(a) subsequent to January 1, 1980.
A payment or agreement to pay by the insurance carrier shall, for the purpose of this section, be deemed a payment or agreement by the employer.