The New Jersey Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau recently announced that the maximum weekly rate that will be paid to workers who get injured in the year 2016 will increase. The weekly rate paid under the workers’ compensation statute is 70% of wages, up to a maximum that changes each year.
The maximum a workers can be paid while out of work and under a doctor’s care will go up to $871.00 per week in 2016. The current maximum rate for 2015 is $855.00 per week, which is a $16.00 weekly increase. There is also a minimum rate that is paid to injured workers while they are out of work under a workers’ compensation doctor’s care. The minimum will be $232.00 per week in 2016. If 70% of a worker’s average weekly wage is less than $232 per week, they will still be paid this minimum figure for temporary disability purposes.
This new increase in weekly rate only applies to new injuries that occur in the year 2016. Those people already injured and out of work from prior years are not entitled to the increase. The workers’ compensation temporary disability weekly rate is always dictated by the year of the injury, and it is not subject to a yearly increase or a cost of living increase.
This differs from Social Security Disability benefits, where there is a cost of living increase in most years. Even if a person is found to be totally disabled, the same is not held true for workers’ compensation benefits. Unfortunately, the disabled worker is always paid at the rate in effect in the year of their injury.
If you have any questions about the rate you are entitled to under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Statute please give us a call.