Getting injured at work can be a frustrating experience. Aside from the physical pain you must endure, your finances and ability to work can be greatly impacted. Fortunately, New Jersey provides employees with a level of protection in these situations – workers’ compensation – but it can be a complicated process.
Initial workers’ compensation award
Once you’ve been injured, the system kicks in and classifies the injury you suffered. In addition to medical treatment for the injury itself, workers’ compensation provides benefits to replace lost wages. The length of time you receive those benefits depends on the injury classification, which can be either a temporary disability or a permanent disability.
Was there a change in circumstances later on?
Most injuries will heal, given appropriate treatment and sufficient time, but this is not always the case. An employee can become permanently disabled, either partially or totally. And their condition is not always static and never changing. There are instances where an employee’s injury, and its complications, change and deteriorate over time. When this happens, the initial classification or benefit awarded may no longer be appropriate.
When circumstances change, employees are entitled to request a modification to their benefits, so that they can be properly adjusted to account for whatever change occurred. It is not always a simple process to request a modification and you may need the help of a professional to do so, as evidence of the change must be submitted with the request. It’s also important to note that there is a time limit for such modifications – they must be requested no later than two years after the last workers’ compensation payment was made to the injured employee.