When you’ve been injured on the job in New Jersey, you have a right to pursue workers’ compensation benefits. There’s a good chance, once your claim has been filed, that you’ll hear the terms “scheduled” and “non-scheduled” losses. If you’ve never been involved in a workers’ compensation claim before, you may be uncertain what those terms mean and how they might apply to your case.
A scheduled loss derives its name from that fact that it’s a loss that is specifically listed on a state-approved “schedule” of the kind of injuries for which compensation is available. Furthermore, that schedule identifies a specific number of weeks of benefits for each type of injury. For example, an injury to your hand will allow you to recover for a certain number of weeks, but an injury to your knee or ankle may qualify you for a different number of weeks.
So-called “scheduled” losses typically involve appendages, including arms, legs, shoulders, hips, elbows, knees, wrists, ankles, fingers, toes, as well as ears and eyes. It important to understand, though, that scheduled loss payments are only available for what are perceived to be permanent injuries. If your injury is temporary, you will only be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for the period during which your injury keeps you from working, or until you have reached what is known as “maximum medical improvement.” If your injury is deemed to be permanent and it’s to a body part that is listed on the schedule, the amount of weeks you would receive benefits is calculated by looking at the degree of your disability and your “scheduled” number of weeks. As an example, if your injury entitles you to 150 weeks, but the medical opinion is that you only have 30% loss of use with the foot—you’d be entitled to 45 weeks of compensation.
Non-scheduled losses involve injury to other parts of the body, including internal organs or your spinal cord. As with a scheduled loss, you will probably get a disability rating from the treating physician, who will estimate the degree of your disability. The number of weeks you’ll be able to recover benefits (at a rate of up to 70% of Average Weekly Wage) will be the percentage of your disability times 600—the maximum number of weeks you can recover benefits.
At Taylor & Boguski, we bring more than 70 years of combined legal experience to men and women throughout New Jersey. For a free initial consultation, contact our office online or call us at 856-200-8989.
We handle all workers’ compensation claims on a contingency basis. There will be no attorney fees unless we recover damages for your losses.