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New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits - The "Flip Side" of Unemployment

hoss.jpgNew Jersey's Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) Law provides qualified employees who have suffered from a non-work related sickness or injury with up to 26 weeks of partial wage replacement. If you are injured on the job, the benefits of the Workers Compensation law applies.

To be eligible for TDB, the non-work related illness or injury must keep you from working. You must be under medical care for that condition. Also, you either must have worked for at least 20 calendar weeks earning at least $145 per week for a covered New Jersey employer, or you must have earned $7,300 or more during your "base year," defined as the 52-week time period immediately prior to the week your disability started.

Other requirements for eligibility are: the condition must last longer than 7 days, must not have been self-inflicted or happened during the commission of a crime, and you cannot be getting paid for any work after becoming temporarily disabled. Also, you cannot receive TDB if you are receiving payment from other programs, such as unemployment or a private disability policy.

You must file your claim within 30 days from the first day you become disabled. If you do not file in time, you will have to show "good cause" by attaching to your claim form an explanation of why the filing was delayed. If you do not show good cause during an untimely filing, your benefits may be reduced or you may be ineligible for benefits altogether.

You can apply for TDB by completing Form DS-1 entitled "Claim for Disability Benefits," which is available online or at local unemployment offices. The form has three parts: one that you must complete, one that your doctor must complete, and one that your most recent employer must complete. Once all three parts are completed, you can send the application to:

Division of Temporary Disability Insurance

Department of Labor and Workforce Development

P.O. Box 387

Trenton, NJ 08625

If you believe you have been denied benefits improperly or you just have additional questions, you may want to consult with an experienced lawyer who knows about unemployment and disability benefits. Kieu-Nhi Le, Rutgers School of Law Newark candidate for a JD degree in May 2016. She is the Managing Business Editor of the Rutgers Computer and Technology Law Journal collaborated with me on this blog.


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