Workers’ Compensation—Different Types of Petitions
If you have been hurt at work in New Jersey, you will most likely be required to seek monetary recovery for any losses through the state’s workers’ compensation system. The process can be complex and confusing, though. This blog post identifies the different types of petitions that can be filed during the course of an application for workers’ compensation benefits.
An Informal Claim Petition
If you are involved in a dispute with your employer regarding compensation for a work-related injury, you can file a petition or application for an informal hearing. This hearing will be scheduled before a judge of compensation. The hearing with the compensation judge is designed to help you avoid litigation regarding your right to compensation, as litigation will typically be a more involved and time-consuming process. A wide range of issues can be addressed at an informal hearing, from the permanency of benefits to the amount of temporary benefits, as well as payment for any medical treatment.
Just because you file an informal claim petition does not mean that you cannot later file a formal petition. Any statements or offers you make during the course of the informal hearing will not be binding in subsequent proceedings. You can secure legal counsel to represent you in an informal hearing, but it is not required. If you do retain legal counsel, you will be responsible for paying your own legal fees.
A Formal Claim Petition
You can also file a formal claim petition with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Division. This must be done within two years of your injury. Your case will typically be assigned to a district office of the Workers’ Compensation Division in which you live, or where the employer is located. In most instances, your first hearing will be within six months of the filing of your petition.
When you file a formal claim petition, you can also file a motion for medical and/or temporary benefits. This will allow you to receive some compensation while your claim is being resolved.
Occupational Injury Petitions
Though most workers’ compensation claims are based on traumatic accidents, where you suffered an injury because of a specific event, you can also seek benefits for a work-related illness, known as an occupational disease. An occupational disease can include a repetitive stress injury, or it can stem from exposure to chemicals or other substances, leading to cancer, heart disease or other malady.
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