Let’s talk about temporary total disability benefits injured public safety officers are entitled to receive under the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Act. 

The New Jersey Workers Compensation Act provides each employee who has suffered a workplace injury with temporary total disability benefits. Temporary total disability benefits are those benefits that are most akin, or similar, to temporary disability benefits one would receive from The State of New Jersey during the period of time that he or she could not work as a result of an injury or illness. However, temporary total disability benefits in the workers’ compensation arena are limited to those individuals who have been injured at work. 

An injured worker in the state of New Jersey can expect to receive 70% of his or her gross average weekly wage for 26 weeks before he or she was injured subject to a maximum amount established by The New Jersey Department of Labor. The maximum amount of weekly temporary total disability benefits change year to year and rise based on cost of living adjustments as enacted by The New Jersey State Legislature. Payments of temporary total disability benefits will continue for the injured worker until one of two events occur. Benefits will cease at the time that the injured worker is medically cleared to return to work, or has recovered to the point that he or she would no longer benefit from medical treatment. Attorneys often refer to this standard as Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI). When one of these two events occurs, temporary total workers’ compensation benefits will cease, and the employee will no longer receive 70% of the gross weekly wage.

However the payment of temporary total disability benefits as it pertains to public safety officers in the state of New Jersey is different. Most public safety officers that are injured on the job, the injury is “documentable” as occurring on the job, and the injury is not a reoccurring pre-existing injury, will receive Sick Leave Injury benefits. Sick Leave Injury benefits are more commonly referred to as SLI benefits. SLI benefits entitle the injured public safety officer to receive full pay for a period of one year from the date of injury, or until the individual has reached maximum medical improvement and has returned to employment, whichever occurs first. Unfortunately, SLI benefits do not include overtime wages that would have been earned but for the injury. Furthermore, it is very important to understand that if the injured public safety officer cannot return to work due to the severity of the injury within one year from the date of the accident, SLI benefits will cease and convert to temporary total disability benefits under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act.  The particular legal nuances that pertain to SLI benefits will be discussed in more detail in a later post. 

In our next entry we will talk about the medical benefits injured public safety officers are entitled to receive under the New Jersey Workers Compensation Act.


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Photo of Frank M. Crivelli Frank M. Crivelli

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state…

Frank M. Crivelli’s practice revolves around the representation of over eighty-five (85) labor unions in various capacities, the majority of which bargain for law enforcement entities. He is proud to be called on a daily basis to provide counsel to over 12,000 state, county and local law enforcement officers, firefighters and EMS workers.

Mr. Crivelli specializes his individual practice in collective negotiations.  Over the past twenty (20) years, Mr. Crivelli has negotiated well over one hundred (100) collective bargaining agreements for various state, county, municipal and private organizations and has resolved over thirty-five (35) labor agreements that have reached impasse through compulsory interest arbitration.  Mr. Crivelli routinely litigates matters in front of the New Jersey State Public Employment Relations Commission, the New Jersey Office of Administrative Law, third party neutrals for mediation, grievance and interest arbitration, the Superior Court of New Jersey and the United States District Court for the District of New Jersey.

Mr. Crivelli founded and created the New Jersey Public Safety Officers Law Blog (www.njpublicsafetyofficers.com) approximately fifteen (15) years ago where he and members of his firm routinely publish blog posts regarding legal issues related to the employment of New Jersey Public Safety Officers.  The blog now contains over six hundred (600) articles and is reviewed and relied upon by thousands of public employees.  Mr. Crivelli has also published books and manuals pertaining to New Jersey Public Employee Disability Pension Appeals and the New Jersey Worker’s Compensation System. Currently, he is drafting a publication on how to Prepare and Negotiate a Collective Bargaining Agreement.  He lectures annually at the New Jersey State PBA Collective Bargaining Seminar, the National Association of Police Organization’s Legal Seminar, the New Jersey Public Employment Relations Commission Seminar on Public Employment Labor Law, the United States Marine Corps’ Commander’s Media Training Symposium and to Union Executive Boards and General Membership bodies on various labor related topics.

Prior to entering private practice, Mr. Crivelli joined the United States Marine Corps where he served as a Judge Advocate with the Legal Services Support Section of the First Force Services Support Group in Camp Pendleton, California.  While serving in the Marine Corps, Mr. Crivelli defended and prosecuted hundreds of Special and General Court Martial cases and administrative separation matters.  In addition to his trial duties, Mr. Crivelli was also charged with the responsibility of training various Marine and Naval combat command elements on the interpretation and implementation of the rules of engagement for various military conflicts that were ongoing throughout the world at that time. After leaving active duty, Mr. Crivelli remained in the Marine Corps Reserves where he was promoted to the rank of Major before leaving the service.

For the past fifteen (15) years, Mr. Crivelli has been certified as a Civil Trial Attorney by the Supreme Court for the State of New Jersey, a certification which less than two percent (2%) of the attorneys in New Jersey have achieved.  He is a graduate of Washington College (B.A.), the City University of New York School of Law (J.D.), the United States Naval Justice School, and the Harvard Law School Program on Negotiation.