Short-term or temporary disability payments are paid from money withheld from New Jersey workers paychecks and held by the state. When short-term disability situations strike, eligible workers apply to the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development for benefits. These benefits are limited to 26 weeks. Apply for benefits by mail, including form DS-1, to the Disability Insurance Office in Trenton.
Wage Requirements and Benefits
As of 2010, those applying for short-term disability must have a 20-week employment minimum in the state and earn at least $145 weekly. Workers also may qualify for short-term disability benefits if, during the previous 52-week period, they earned a minimum of $7,300. Benefits are calculated based on the weekly wage for the eight weeks prior to the disability. Claimants receive two-thirds of their weekly wage up to an annual limit. For 2010, the maximum weekly benefit amount for short-term disability is $561.
In order to qualify for benefits, disabilities cannot last less than seven days. Employees cannot receive benefits if they became disabled 14 days beyond their final day of work for a N.J. employer. Those discharged from their jobs for gross misconduct are ineligible. Applicants must be under the care of a state-licensed physician or other medical professional. Self-inflicted disabilities or those sustained while committing a crime are ineligible.
Pregnant women may apply for short-term disability benefits. In normal pregnancies, benefits may be paid up to one month before the expected due date and for six weeks after the birth, as long as the mother does not return to work before that period ends. Benefits may continue for a longer time under certain circumstance certified by a physician, such as recovery from a Caesarean section, other pregnancy or birth-related complications, or the physical inability to perform regular job requirements.
Work- Related Disabilities
Work- related disabilities are not generally covered under the state's temporary disability insurance, but rather under laws governing worker's compensation. However, under some circumstances, such as the employer's compensation carrier will no longer pay benefits or refuses to consider the disability work-related, the worker might be eligible under the state temporary disability plan. Such workers must file a formal claim with the Division of Workmen's Compensation, and if they eventually receive workmen's compensation must reimburse the Division of Temporary Disability Insurance.