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(c) 2018 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Monday, January 22, 2018

NJ Corrections Officers Are Entitled to Supplemental Benefits

NJ Corrections officers and other designated safety officers are now entitled to supplemental payments equating to full salary while on Workers’ Compensation temporary disability benefits. Recent legislation that was effective as of October 17, 2017, requires certain employers to make supplemental payments so that full salary is received by the injured workers.

The types of employees designated to receive supplemental payments include: 
  1. Any State corrections officer, juvenile corrections officer or juvenile detention officer; 
  2. Any parole officer; 
  3. Any State Human Services police officer, State conservation officer, State park police officer, Palisades Interstate Park officer, or full-time campus police officer appointed by a county college or four-year public institution of higher education; 
  4. Any civilian employee who works with or who teaches inmates or detainees in a State correctional facility, juvenile correctional facility, or juvenile detention center; and 
  5. Any probation officer.

Payments are to be made if the designated empty is assaulted in the course of employment and he or she suffers a “serious bodily injury.” Benefits are payable for a period of up to six months.

“Rates for the payment of temporary workers' compensation benefits are statutorily fixed at an amount equal to 70% of the workers' weekly wages received at the time of the accident. Temporary benefits are also subject to a maximum of 75% of the Statewide Average Weekly Wages (SAWW).” Gelman, Jon L, Workers Compensation Law, 38 NJPRAC 16.2 (Thomson-Reuters 2017). The SAWW is computed by the Commissioner of Labor pursuant to N.J.S.A. 43:21-3(1). The SAWW is a vital factor in the determination of the ultimate monetary award which will be recovered by the petitioner. Fagan v. City of Atlantic City, 191 N.J.Super. 511, 467 A.2d 1104 (App.Div.1983), judgment rev'd 96 N.J. 321, 475 A.2d 1257 (1984).

N.J.S.A. 34:15-37.1 to 37.6.

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).