What are my options if my claim for benefits is denied?
Sometimes, when a person in New Jersey files for workers’ compensation benefits, things do not go as they expect. For example, there may be questions about whether their injury/illness is work related, how much medical treatment they need or whether they are entitled to temporary or permanent disability benefits. Being denied benefits can be discouraging, but it is important to know that there is the chance for appeal through an Application for an Informal Hearing or a formal Claim Petition.
Application for an Informal Hearing
When there is a dispute about benefits, either the employee, employer or insurance carrier can apply for an informal hearing before a judge of compensation. The aim of these hearings is to resolve the applicable issues without having to undergo litigation, which can be more involved and time-consuming. The judge’s decision in an informal hearing is not binding. The employee can have an attorney represent them at an informal hearing.
Formal Claim Petition
Injured employees also have the ability to file a formal claim petition with the New Jersey Division of Workers’ Compensation. The first hearing will generally take place within six months from the date the petition was filed. Most of these claim petitions will be settled out-of-court. If this is not possible, there will be a trial in which the injured worker will testify, as may medical professionals and lay witnesses. Once the trial is concluded, the judge will make a binding and appealable decision.
Learn more about workers’ compensation in New Jersey
Ultimately this post is for educational purposes only and does not contain legal advice. Those who want to learn more about workers’ compensation in New Jersey may find our firm’s website to be a useful source of information.