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How long do temporary disability benefits for work injuries last?

If you suffer an illness or injury on the job, you can be eligible to receive financial support if your condition means you cannot work. If your condition causes you to miss at least seven days of work but you are expected to recover from an illness or injury, you may collect temporary total disability (TTD) benefits

TTD benefits cover 70 percent of a person's average weekly wages, though there are minimum and maximum amounts that apply. In 2018, those amounts are $241 per week and $903 per week, respectively. Benefits should last until one of the following three events.

  1. You reach maximum medical improvement (MMI). The term MMI means that doctors do not expect your condition to continue improving. 
  2. You are medically cleared to return to work. Doctors can clear you to return to work at a certain point. This could be when you reach MMI or when you are at a point where you can perform light duty work. However, know that if you are still receiving medical treatment while performing light duty, you could still collect your benefits.
  3. It has been 400 weeks. Temporary benefits cannot last more than 400 weeks, which is just over seven-and-a-half years.

Disputes that can arise

These events that trigger an end to workers' compensation benefits in New Jersey can be divisive, and injured workers don't always agree with the decisions of their doctors or employers. Clashes can arise when a doctor claims a patient has reached MMI, while the patient disagrees. Or an employer may not offer light duty work to an employee.

These situations can be stressful because an injured worker can be fearful about prematurely losing benefits, losing a job or putting their health in danger.

If you have concerns about losing your benefits unfairly, then talking to an attorney about your legal options can be wise. You have rights and benefits worth protecting. 

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