If you get hurt on the job in New Jersey, you can depend on workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses and most of the wages that you don’t earn during your recovery.
Workers’ compensation is a no-fault insurance system. That means that even if you cause the incident that left you hurt, your employer can’t just deny you benefits. Still, there are multiple situations where you could lose your benefits. The three circumstances below are some of the most common reasons people don’t get the benefits they need.
You test positive for drugs or alcohol
While employers can no longer force every injured worker to take a drug test, they can request drug testing if there is reasonable suspicion of impairment or if the worker has a history of substance abuse affecting their employment. Anyone under the influence of drugs or alcohol at the time of a work accident may not get benefits.
You don’t report the issue to your employer
To receive the benefits you need, you have to prove that the injury is related to your job. Reporting an incident as soon as it occurs allows your employer to document it and thereby eliminate any question about whether you got hurt because of work or not. If you don’t report the incident that leaves you injured, you may not get the benefits you need.
You don’t follow medical advice
Whether the doctor overseeing your care recommends physical therapy, surgery or medication, you have a responsibility to follow their orders or at least request a second opinion. If you simply stop your treatment, that could be grounds for denying you future benefits.
Understanding what could keep you from getting benefits and help you avoid mistakes when you need workers’ compensation.