New Jersey State temporary disability benefits (TDI) is a mandated income insurance program that applies to private workers. The program provides entitlements for off the job accidents and illnesses. NJ State temporary disability benefits are widely used by growing families.

Childbirth is the most common reason behind why people inquire about maximum benefit amounts, payment calculations, length of payments, and instructions on how to file a claim. The issues are broken down into three topics.

  • Calculating maximum benefit amounts
  • How it works for pregnancy and maternity leave
  • Determining eligibility and applying for TDI benefits

NJ Temporary Disability Amounts

The first question many people will ask is “how much does NJ temporary disability benefits pay?” Like most state mandated disability programs, there are limits. There is no single answer, but you can break the calculations into four parts: calculating percent of pay, the weekly maximum benefit amount, the length of duration, and taxation.

Percentage of Pay Calculations

New Jersey state temporary disability benefits are calculated by multiplying your average weekly earnings by 2/3. Your average weekly earnings are derived from your last eight calendar weeks before your disability begins.

Your claim becomes payable after your disability exceeds a one week waiting period. This waiting week also becomes payable if you receive payments for all or some part of the three weeks immediately following the waiting week.

Maximum Benefit Amount

The maximum weekly benefit amount is capped at $584 for claims beginning after January 1, 2013. The maximum weekly benefit amount is capped at $595 for claims beginning in 2014. Expect the maximum amount to increase slightly each year.

Perform some simple calculations to determine that any worker with an income above $45,597 annually will be subject to the maximum weekly benefit amount. In this case, your percentage of income replaced will be less than the target 2/3. You can increase your level of benefit by purchasing a private policy.

Length of Benefit Duration

The maximum payment amount is 1/3 of the amount you earned in the state during the previous year, or 26 times the weekly claim amount whichever is less. That is government language for “NJ temporary disability benefits last for six months.” After that, you are on your own.

A supplemental policy can extend your benefit duration.

Taxability of Benefits

NJ temporary disability benefits are income taxable in proportion to the TDI withholding from your paycheck. Both the employee and employer contribute to the TDI fund. In the event of a claim, the taxable portion of the benefit will appear on your W2 statement at the end of each tax year. TDI benefits are not subject to NJ income taxes.

New Jersey TDI for Pregnancy and Maternity Leave

State temporary disability insurance in New Jersey covers your pregnancy and maternity leave. The program is the cornerstone of NJ maternity leave laws. Keep in mind that childbirth is a medical event that many plan. You may be facing at least a one-third pay cut, and benefits may not last long enough.

Pregnancy Bed Rest

NJ temporary disability benefits for pregnancy bed rest come in handy. For a normal pregnancy, benefits are usually payable for up to four (4) weeks before the expected delivery date. However, your doctor may require you to cease working much earlier in your pregnancy.

Add up all the time missed away from work and two things may become apparent. The benefit amount may not be enough, and the duration may be too short. Six months does not last long enough to span a complicated pregnancy, followed by your recovery from childbirth.

Consider purchasing NJ short term disability for pregnancy before getting pregnant and increase level of income replacement, and payment duration to provide your family the security it needs.

Maternity Leave

NJ temporary disability benefits for maternity leave last of up to six (6) weeks after the actual delivery date. Entitlements may be payable for a longer period if your doctor certifies that you have a specific complication related to the pregnancy; you have a Caesarean section; or you have another simultaneous disability.

New Jersey Paid Family Leave takes over once mom has recovered from childbirth. An additional six weeks of benefits are payable to bond with your baby.

Postpartum disorders are common and may extend the time before you return to work. Once again, the state benefits may not be sufficiently large, or last long enough. Be prepared.

NJ Temporary Disability Eligibility

NJ State temporary disability benefits are mandated for private workers. Residency in the state does not automatically qualify you for the program – an important distinction that many people discover only after they become disabled. Some may be eligible through a voluntary plan,

Voluntary Plans

Many state residents are eligible. Some are required to participate by law, while others may participate voluntarily. Those not required to participate include Government workers, Federal, State, County, and Municipal employees. Many government employers elect to participate on a voluntary basis, so check with your employer.

Teachers

Teachers are a large population segment that often requires use of TDI entitlements. Teachers are predominantly female, and often need income during maternity leave. Most public schools are considered part of municipal government, and therefore are not required to participate in the program.

Each school system can choose to become a “covered employer” and require that all teachers participate. Teachers can contact their union representative to negotiate this entitlement.

Commuters

NJ temporary disability is mandated for people who work in the state. Just because you reside in the Garden State does not automatically mean you are eligible to apply for benefits.

  • Commuters to NYC: are covered by the NY state disability program, which provides a much lower amount.
  • Commuters to Philadelphia: have no coverage at all. There is no mandatory PA state disability insurance program.

Other Qualifications

You qualify for cash payments if you worked at least 20 weeks for a covered employer over the course of the last 52 weeks before your disability began. Most self-employed workers do not meet this qualification.

During Unemployment

New Jersey state temporary disability does not make claims payments while you are receiving unemployment compensation. However there are several scenarios where both may be payable in sequence. If your disability begins more than fourteen days after leaving your job, you may be eligible for NJ disability during unemployment. You must meet many of the TDI requirements in order to be eligible: under the care of a physician, minimum amount of pay, etc.

Disabled workers sometimes lose their jobs. When the time comes to return to work, they find that their employer has moved on. They filled the job, and nothing is available. Both federal and NJ state family leave laws provide limited job protections for some workers. Workers in small businesses have no job protections, and those with longer disabilities may outlast the length of job-protected leave. Unemployment insurance compensation may be payable once a worker is physically able to work.

Applying for NJ TDI Benefits

You do not have to fill out an application to enroll in the program. Qualified workers are automatically enrolled. However, there is paperwork that must be completed in the event of a claim. People who purchased a private policy to increase income replacement can apply for benefits by filing a claim with their carrier.

Claim Forms

Complete the New Jersey temporary disability claim form DS-1 to start your claim. The claim form needs to be completed by you, your employer, and your doctor. Follow instructions carefully to avoid any delays. Mail the form within thirty days of the start of your disability.

Workers using a private insurance carrier will need to contact the specific insurance carrier. Contact your HR department to verify if your group works with a private insurer.

Claims Status

The state provides several avenues to verify the status of your claim, entitlement details, payment history, and payment status. You can find information from any claim filed in the last one thousand days. You can find status updates on forms mailed to your home, by contacting customer service by phone, or by logging into the web inquiry portal.

Contact Phone Number

If you have specific questions about your claim, or need on update on claims status, you can contact the Customer Service Information Center at this contact phone number: (609) 292 – 7060. General information is available in English and Spanish 24 hours a day and claim specific information is available during normal business hours via an automated telephone system.

Source: NJ Department of Labor: Temporary DisabilityDisability During Unemployment

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