If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits for a disability that becomes worse or a medical condition that changes, there are steps to take to change your settlement. Under certain circumstances, workers’ compensation cases in New Jersey can be reopened.
Like other facets of the workers’ compensation system, reopening a claim can be complicated. It requires evidence of need from the injured worker.
The workers’ compensation attorneys of Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., can help you if your medical needs have changed and you need your workers’ compensation benefits extended to reflect your current status.
Contact us today by phone at (800) LAW-2000 or use our online form to set up a free and confidential consultation about your case.
Extending NJ Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is understandable that serious occupational injuries can get worse over time. The New Jersey workers’ compensation system makes provisions for benefit recipients’ medical changes that require benefits in addition to what was originally provided. However, there are restrictions.
To reopen a New Jersey workers’ compensation claim, you must file a request within two years of your final benefits payment. After two years beyond that final payment, your claim will be considered permanently closed.
In a petition to reopen your claim, you will need to demonstrate that you require additional medical treatment for your original injury or disability, or that you have had a material change in your level of disability.
If approved, your reopened claim could result in your receipt of compensation to reimburse you for medical expenses, to pay for lost wages and, perhaps, give you a bigger award of benefits.
Final Workers’ Comp Settlements under Section 20
An important barrier to reopening a NJ workers’ compensation claim is what is known as a “Section 20” settlement. If your current benefits were determined in a Section 20 order, you will not be able to change or extend them.
Section 20 refers to disputed workers’ compensation claims that are settled in the worker’s favor with a lump-sum benefit payment. The statute states that a judge’s order under Section 20 is the final and conclusive settlement of the worker’s claim. It requires the worker and his or her dependents to surrender any further rights to benefits.
So, if you are considering a Section 20 lump-sum settlement, it is crucial that you make this decision only after speaking first with an experienced New Jersey workers’ compensation attorney.
Contact Our New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers about Reopening Your Case
Davis, Saperstein & Salomon, P.C., is available to help you reopen your workers’ compensation case. Since 1981, our attorneys have assisted injured and ill workers throughout New Jersey. Call us today or use our online form to set up a free review of your claim status.
We can meet with you in person or by phone at (800) LAW-2000. We can also meet in one of our many offices located throughout the state or at your home, in the hospital or by computer.
Sources / More Information
- Injured Workers, New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development (NJDLWD)
- Workers’ Compensation Law, NJDLWD