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Upcoming changes to workers’ comp in New Jersey: What you need to know

Workers' compensation in New Jersey is scheduled to change in 2015. Changes include adjustments to benefits, expenses and calculations.

Those who are injured on the job often depend on payments from workers' compensation to meet their financial obligations. Workers' Compensation is a state-mandated program designed to provide payments to those who are injured during the course of employment. Since the laws governing these programs vary by state, it is important to review the current rules and guidelines of your state before moving forward with a claim.

The importance of keeping current was recently highlighted with the announcement that the Workers' Compensation Insurance program in New Jersey would soon change.

Upcoming changes: Calculations, expenses and benefit payments

New Jersey's Workers' Compensation insurance program is scheduled for an upcoming change. The Commissioner of Banking and Insurance recently approved a 2.9 percent increase in the rates and rating values for this program.

A circular letter issued on November 13, 2014 by the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau discussed the revisions made to the rates and rating values. Some notable changes include:

  • Calculation. The experience premium and loss modifier will be adjusted. An experience modifier is a calculation that is designed to adjust the premium paid by an employer based on the risk of injuries to employees and the likelihood that an employer will have to report injuries. According to the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau, a review of available data from two policy years and the most current calendar accident year led to a premium level adjustment factor of 0.975, or -2.5 percent.
  • Expenses. Both the Loss Adjustment Expense and Security Fund require increases. As a result, the expense provision will experience a premium level adjustment factor of 0.5 percent.
  • Benefits. The new maximum weekly temporary disability benefit will change from $843 to $855. The minimum weekly temporary disability benefit will change from $225 to $228.

The new maximum weekly disability award benefit will also change from $843 to $855.

The changes are scheduled to go into effect on January 1, 2015. These changes will be applied to both new and renewing policies.

Importance of legal counsel

Those who are applying for workers' compensation can benefit from an understanding of these laws. These changes and the complex nature of the application process highlight the need for an experienced workers' compensation lawyer. Those who are injured on the job are wise to seek legal counsel. An attorney can help guide you through the process and fight for all of the benefits you are entitled to.

Keywords: workers' compensation