An illness or injury that prevents a person from working may immediately have you thinking about disability benefits available through the Supplemental Security Income and Social Security Disability Insurance programs administered by the Social Security Administration. However, eligibility for disability benefits through SSI or SSDI require a long-term disability that is expected to last for at least 12 months or cause death.
If you cannot work because of a temporary illness or injury or because of pregnancy, and work for a New Jersey employer, you may qualify for disability pay in NJ through the state-managed program. The information that follows introduces you to the program and explains how much disability pay you may be entitled to receive through it.
Keep in mind that it is a program for short-term injuries and illnesses. If you have questions about disability pay in NJ, a disability lawyer at London Disability can evaluate your claim to determine whether you are eligible and explain how much does disability pay in NJ.
How is temporary disability funded in NJ?
The state-run temporary disability program in NJ is funded by money contributed by employers and employees. As a worker, 0.14% of your earnings go toward the temporary disability program. The contribution percentage and the earnings cap of $151,900 are for 2022. Employers in 2022 contribute between $39.80 and $298.50 on the first $39,800 of annual earnings for each employee.
How much does disability pay in New Jersey?
Your disability pay in NJ depends upon your weekly benefit rate. The calculation of the weekly benefit rate starts with the earnings for your base year and divides them by the number of weeks that you earned more than $240. Your weekly benefit rate is 85% of the result of the calculation up to a maximum weekly benefit of $993 for 2022.
When you file an application for temporary disability pay, the state reviews your earnings for the five quarters immediately prior to when you became disabled. The first four quarters become the base year.
Temporary disability pay in NJ lasts only for as long as you are disabled, but you cannot receive benefits for more than 26 weeks. The 26-week limitation does not apply if a new illness or injury causes you to become disabled. As long as it is not a continuation of the previous disabling medical condition, it is treated as a new application that is subject to a new 26-week limit on payments.
Qualifying for disability pay while unemployed
Unemployment may not prevent you from receiving disability pay even if you are collecting unemployment benefits in NJ. As long as you meet the requirement of being disabled because of a physical or mental health condition that is not work-related, you may be eligible for temporary disability pay in NJ. However, the weekly benefit rate is reduced to 60% of your earnings and not the 85% you would receive had you been employed when you became disabled.
Applying for disability benefits in NJ
You have only 30 days from when you become disabled to file a claim for benefits through the state-run temporary disability program. An application filed beyond the deadline may result in a denial of benefits, but a disability lawyer at London Disability may be able to help.
If you have good cause for not filing the application for disability pay in NJ within the 30 days, the state may accept it. The explanation for the filing delay must be included with the application in order for it to be considered by the state.
You cannot file an early claim for disability benefits. For example, if you are scheduled for a surgical procedure that you know will prevent you from working during the recovered period, you cannot file for disability benefits in advance of the surgery because you must be disabled when you complete the application. Wait until you have the surgery before applying for benefits.
You have the right to challenge a denial of benefits
If your claim for temporary disability benefits is denied or the disability pay is less than what you and your disability lawyer believe it should be, you may appeal the decision. The appeal must be filed within seven days from when you receive it or within 10 days from the date the decision was mailed to you.
A notice will be sent to you with the date, time and place for the hearing. An appeal tribunal examiner conducts the hearing and issues a written decision that is sent to you by mail after the hearing.
Contact a disability pay lawyer today
When you are in need of advice and representation about disability benefits, London Disability has disability advocates and disability lawyers to help you. Contact us today for a free consultation to discuss your disability pay claim in NJ or disability benefits through SSI and SSDI.