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Workers Compensation in New Jersey

Jason Metz

New Jersey requires all New Jersey employees to have workers compensation unless they are covered by federal programs or are approved for self-insurance. Out-of-state employees may also need to have workers compensation if the contract is entered or the work is performed in New Jersey.

Workers compensation insurance in New Jersey can be purchased in one of two ways:

  • Buy a workers compensation insurance policy.
  • Self-insure: You must submit an application for approval for self-insurance to the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance.

Workers compensation insurance generally pays some lost income and the medical bills for an employee who's injured while doing a job-related task. The types of injuries that can be covered by workers compensation include broken bones, muscle injuries and breathing problems.

New Jersey workers compensation law details the limits of workers comp payments, who can be exempt from coverage, and who must be covered. Below are many of the specifics contained in the workers comp law in New Jersey. The New Jersey Department of Labor and Workforce Development also has a page with helpful information for employers.

Who has to be covered under workers comp in New Jersey?

Can any employees opt out of New Jersey workers compensation with a waiver?

Yes - sole proprietors can.

Is self-insurance for workers comp allowed in New Jersey?

Yes, for individual employers, hospitals and political subdivisions. Political subdivisions in New Jersey are typically the state or a city, county, special district, school district or public agency.

By self-insuring, a business assumes responsibility for paying their own workers comp claims. A self-insured company typically hires a claims service company to handle claims administration and other services.

Are there exclusions for:

Small employers? No.

Agricultural employers? No.

Domestic employers? No, however, a domestic employee can be covered by a homeowners insurance rider.

Independent contractors? Yes.

Casual employees? Yes.

Volunteers? Yes.

Professional athletes? No.

New Jersey workers comp medical benefits

Is there a New Jersey workers comp fee schedule?


Fee schedules define payments for surgery, radiology, hospital services, chiropractic care, ambulance service, prescription drugs and other medical services for an injured worker.

Are there limits on medical treatment?


Who makes the initial choice of treating physician?

The employer.

Disability payments for workers compensation insurance in New Jersey

Workers comp usually pays an employee a portion of their salary when they cannot work because of a job-related injury. Based on both temporary and permanent disability, New Jersey state laws specify the limits on disability payment lengths and amount.

How are temporary total disability (TTD) payments calculated?

70% of the employee's pre-injury weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $232

Weekly maximum: $871

Maximum length of TDD benefits: 104 weeks (with limited exceptions for benefits for 240 weeks)

How are permanent total disability (PTD) payments calculated?

70% of the employee's actual wage at the time of injury, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $232

Weekly maximum: $871

Are there cost of living increases for PTD payments? No.

Maximum length of PTD benefits: Payable for the length of the disability and may be payable for life.

How are permanent partial disability (PPD) payments calculated?

70% of the worker's pre-injury weekly wage, subject to a minimum and maximum.

Weekly minimum: $35

Weekly maximum: $871

Fatality benefits under New Jersey workers compensation law

Maximum burial benefit: $3,500

Dependency benefits, weekly minimum / maximum: $232/$871

When do children's dependency benefits end? At age 18; age 23 if the child is a student; benefits can continue if child is disabled.

Other injuries covered by New Jersey workers compensation

Mental stress with no physical injury? Yes.

Cumulative trauma (such as injuries caused by repeated exposure or repetitive motion)? Yes.

Occupational hearing loss? Yes.

Disfigurement? No.

Source: Workers Compensation Research Institute, May 2016 report