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When a workplace injury leads to permanent disability

April 01, 2022

Although New Jersey has a no-fault worker’s compensation system that permits workers to receive comprehensive benefits after a workplace injury, when the injury is severe enough or debilitating over time, there are limits to what is available if the worker is unable to fully recover and perform duties at their previous level.

A no-fault worker’s compensation claim means that the injured worker does not need to prove fault or negligence when pursuing benefits, and can apply to workplace accidents that result in partial or total disability. Unfortunately, this also means that the award will most likely be less than a personal injury claim, as no-fault insurance balances the needs of both sides by simplifying the process for filers while also limiting the liability of the employer.

Qualifying for Social Security Disability (SSD)

Workers whose on-the-job injuries keep them from returning to work or recovering fully may qualify for Social Security Disability (SSD) benefits if their injuries meet the definition of what a disability is under the Social Security Administration’s guidelines. The SSA defines a disability as a medically determinable physical or mental impairment that prevents an afflicted individual from engaging in any substantial gainful activity (SGA).

The list of impairments encompasses many kinds of injuries and conditions which qualify if they have lasted or will last for at least 12 months, or are expected to result in death. Some of these include:

  • Back or spine injuries
  • Vision or hearing loss
  • Heart failure, congenital heart disease, transplant, aneurism or arrythmias
  • Cancer
  • Rheumatoid arthritis, lupus, HIV/AIDS or other immune system disorders
  • Asthma, chronic respiratory disorders, cystic fibrosis or COPD
  • Anxiety, depression or autism

Calculating the benefits

In order to receive benefits, the injured worker must have worked in jobs that are covered under Social Security. There is a complex calculation of benefits that will take into account income level as well as how much the worker has paid into Social Security over their work history.

The individual seeking benefits must not only have been disabled for a significant amount of time, but also must have medical documentation that supports their claim, including evidence of symptoms, medical examinations, diagnoses and the results of laboratory and clinical tests.

Knowing the ins and outs of filing a disability claim, what forms to fill out and deadlines for filing can be exhausting, especially if the SSA denies the initial claim. It is essential to have knowledgeable legal guidance on the steps necessary to pursue a successful disability claim.

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Let Us Guide You Through The Process

If you have been injured in a workplace accident, you may have many questions about the financial benefits available to you under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation system. You should know that you only have a limited amount of time to report your work injury and make a claim for workers’ comp benefits. Therefore, it is important to have a New Jersey workers compensation attorney review your claim as soon as possible to see that you are being treated fairly and to ensure that you receive full compensation for your injuries. Please call 866-916-3549 or contact our office using our convenient online contact form to arrange a free consultation. Our injury attorneys do not charge a fee unless we make a recovery on your behalf.

Representative Cases

Our client, a nurse at a long-term care center, suffered a work-related herniated disk injury in her back. As a result of her preexisting medical condition and her herniated disk, the court found that the client was totally disabled and awarded the client lifetime weekly disability payments and medical coverage for life.

View More Cases


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