(c) 2017 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, October 23, 2017

Electronic Medical Bills for Workers' Compensation Claims

The State of NJ has recently adopted an "electronic medical bill" process. N.J.S.A. 34:15-144, P.L 2016, c. 64. On October 16, 2017, Regulations were proposed to implement the Statute. Public Hearing will be held on Tuesday, November 14, 2017, 10:00 A.M. to 12:00 Noon.  The deadline for written comments is December 15, 2017.

Saturday, October 21, 2017

Guidelines for Medical Provider Claims - A Valuable Approach

While the vast majority of jurisdictions in the US have the guidance of mandatory workers' compensation medical fee schedules, New Jersey remains one of the very few with no such structure. As I reported earlier, this generates multiple issues in the claims process and creates costly delays in the adjudication of disputes.

The Inherent Judicial Power of Judges of Compensation

A Judge of Compensation has the discretion to call and question witnesses in pending cases. A NJ Appellate Court affirmed the trial court award of additional weeks of temporary disability,  the imposition of a 25% penalty for unreasonable and negligent delay in defending the case and 20% counsel fees.

Friday, October 20, 2017

Workers Compensation for the Work Camper

Today's guest is author is Jon Rehm of the Nebraska Bar.

The Washington Post ran a feature story about “Work Campers” – senior citizens who live in campers and travel around for temporary jobs. The story noted that many, if not most, work campers were forced into the lifestyle by inadequate retirement savings and Social Security retirement benefits that have lost 30 percent of their purchasing power since 2000. The story also noted that the number of senior citizens working has increased from 4 million to 9 million during that same time period.

Wednesday, October 18, 2017

The State of Nebraska

Nebraska is a state that exemplifies excellence. It demonstrates how a summary proceeding, based on the legislative intent of a social remedial system, can enhance the Workers' Compensation Act. It is a jurisdiction that moves expeditiously to resolve cases as amicably as possible within the litigation framework. 

(L) Rod Rehm of the Nebraska Bar & (R) Jon L Gelman 
Last evening I had dinner with Rod Rehm, a long-time friend,  on the eve of his presentation before the Workplace Injury Litigation Group's annual continuing legal education seminar. Rod is an expert in workers' compensation law and senior partner of the Law Firm of Rehm, Bennett & Moore of Lincoln, Nebraska.

Our discussion focused on why the Nebraska workers' compensation system functions so efficiently for the benefit of all parties and stakeholders. It boils down to the fact that even though the system is fine-tuned for adjudication by way of trial, the litigation system is supplemented by a complementary process of medication and settlement. 

The Nebraska bench and bar are knowledgeable and can focus in on the legal issues quickly. That skill set permits the stakeholders to utilize a mediation process and judicial settlement process that moves cases along swiftly and greatly reduces the need for judicial intervention through adjudication by trial in a majority of the matters.  The professional ability of the parties allows for resolution of some matters by release alone, and circumvents the need for judicial review. Since 2009 Nebraska has allowed for settlements without judicial review.

Nebraska's effort to move cases along expeditiously is a model for other jurisdictions to follow. It is a tribute to the professional excellence of all the parties and a benefit to injured workers', their employers and the insurance industry. Most importantly it demonstrates that when the Bench has the confidence that the parties have achieved a level of professional excellence, the system can function more expeditiously. Nebraska is a model of efficiency built on excellence. 

Jon L. Gelman of Wayne NJ is the author of NJ Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters) and co-author of the national treatise, Modern Workers’ Compensation Law (West-Thomson-Reuters). 

For over 4 decades the
Law Offices of Jon L Gelman  1.973.696.7900  has been representing injured workers and their families who have suffered occupational accidents and illnesses.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2018 Social Security Changes - COLA Increases

The Social Security Administration has announced based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent COLA for 2018.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

NASI Study: Employers & Employees Lose With Workers' Compensation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Workers’ compensation employer costs as a share of payroll declined in 2015, reversing a four-year trend, and benefits as a share of payroll fell for the fourth straight year, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy).