As a Disabled Person, Does New Jersey’s Workers’ Compensation Law Offer Additional Protections?

 If you are a previously disabled person who has suffered permanent and total disability as a result of a work-related injury, you are entitled to additional protections under New Jersey’s Second Injury Fund.  This fund provides workers compensation benefits to employees after their insurance carrier covered benefits expire.

New Jersey’s Second Injury Fund, which was created in 1923, was meant to encourage the hiring of partially disabled persons, such as veterans.  Because some employers viewed these individuals as creating the risk of future medical and benefits costs, the fund was intended to shield employers from incurring costs related to preexisting injuries.

If you qualify for the fund, payment will continue until your death, so long as you remain permanently and totally disabled and unemployed.  If you are receiving Social Security or disability pensions, however, the rate you receive pursuant to this fund will be reduced.  After 450 weeks of receiving benefits pursuant to the New Jersey Second Injury Fund, you may have to undergo rehabilitation, if required by the New Jersey Division of Vocational and Rehabilitation Services.  Additionally, you must also prove that you remain unable to earn the same wages you earned at the time you received your permanent disability.

While New Jersey does have a second injury fund, these funds are becoming scare in other states.  Over the last 20 years, roughly 20 states, including New York, have eliminated or phased-out these funds, in an effort to reduce costs.   For questions concerning your specific situation, contact Randolph H. Wolf, an experienced workers’ compensation attorney today at (732) 741-4448.