If you suffer an injury while at work, you should be able to make a workers’ compensation claim. Workers’ compensation is insurance that your employer purchases to cover employee’s expenses due to work accidents. If your employer does not have this insurance, it can make it difficult for you to get compensation for your medical expenses and other costs that result from the incident.
The whole point of the workers’ compensation system is to avoid lawsuits and other issues associated with work injuries. The intention is that it makes things easier for the employer and the employee. To protect everyone, the state has strict laws and procedures to handle employers who do not have proper insurance coverage.
According to the State of New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development, all employees must carry workers’ compensation insurance under New Jersey law, so any employer not carrying it is breaking the law. The state will first sanction the employer by placing liens on the employer to pay for your expenses before it takes money from the fund. The state also fines the employer and assesses further fees to pay back the fund for money it pays to you.
The Uninsured Employers Fund offers payments to employees whose employer does not carry workers’ compensation insurance. It will pay for medical expenses and temporary disability benefits. It does not pay permanent disability benefits. If you need permanent benefits, the court will put liens against your employer to make it pay for your expenses. You may sue your employer in court to collect on the liens.
It does often take longer for you to get payments from the fund than it would to get payments from an insurer. The timeline for receiving benefits is generally 90 to 120 days after you make your claim. There is a mandatory 45-day period where you must wait to allow your employer to start making payments to you. It also includes time going to court for the court to assess liens against your employer.