Temporary Disability/Family Leave Insurance Benefits, Workers’ Compensation, and New Jersey and Federal Family, Medical, and Other Leave Laws
Temporary Disability/Family Leave Insurance Benefits During Pregnancy & After Childbirth
If you are pregnant, you may be eligible for temporary disability insurance benefits. For a normal pregnancy, benefits are generally payable for 4 weeks before the expected delivery date and 6 weeks after the actual delivery date (8 weeks if you delivered by Cesarean section). A doctor may certify that you are disabled for a longer period if:
- You experience specific complications related to pregnancy.
- You have another simultaneous disability.
- You are physically unable to do your regular job.
When you have stopped working and your doctor certifies that you are disabled, you may apply for temporary disability insurance benefits on our website.
If you are determined eligible for temporary disability insurance benefits, you may also be eligible for up to an additional six weeks of family leave insurance benefits to bond with your child after you recover from the childbirth. Family leave insurance benefits may be available to mothers and fathers for up to six weeks within the first year of the child’s life. Many mothers choose to use this benefit directly following their receipt of temporary disability insurance benefits during the course of a continuous period of maternity leave. Please go to our family leave insurance page for additional information on how to file.
Information Regarding an Employee’s Rights to Return to Work pursuant to the N.J. Family Leave Act, the N.J. SAFE Act, and the federal Family and Medical Leave Act
The following fact sheets contain all of the relevant information about an employee’s right to return to work under the above-cited laws. The following fact sheets also contain explanations of the types of employers subject to each of the above-cited laws.
- New Jersey Family Leave Act fact sheet
- New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act fact sheet
- Federal Family and Medical Leave Act fact sheet
If a given employer is not subject to any one of the above-cited laws, then the employees who work for that employer are not entitled to the protections afforded by that particular law. For example, the New Jersey Security and Financial Empowerment Act (N.J. SAFE Act) provides that certain employees are eligible to receive unpaid leave of absence for a period not to exceed 20 days in a 12-month period to address circumstances resulting from domestic violence or a sexually violent offense. The NJ SAFE Act also states that in order for an employee to be entitled to that unpaid leave, he or she must work for an employer in the State of New Jersey that employs 25 or more employees for each working day during each of 20 or more calendar workweeks in the then-current or immediately preceding calendar year. Thus, if an individual works for an employer who, during the current calendar year and during the immediately preceding calendar year, has consistently employed only 15 employees, then that individual will not be entitled to 20 days of unpaid leave under the N.J. SAFE Act, regardless of the circumstances giving rise to the leave.
The above link is to the New Jersey Statutes in their entirety. The N.J. Family Leave Act, N.J.S.A. 34:11B-1 et seq., the N.J. Temporary Disability Benefits Law, N.J.S.A. 43:21-25 et seq., the N.J. Family Leave Insurance law, N.J.S.A. 43:21-39.1 et seq., the N.J. Security and Financial Empowerment Act (N.J. SAFE Act), N.J.S.A. 34:11c-1 et seq., and the N.J. Workers Compensation Act, N.J.S.A. 34:15-1 et seq., may be found utilizing the above link.
The Division of Workers’ Compensation, within the N.J. Department of Labor and Workforce Development, also does make available on its webpage a stand-alone version of the Workers’ Compensation Act.
Apply for Benefits
Neither the N.J. Family Leave Act, nor the N.J. SAFE Act, involve the filing of a claim for benefits with the State. Rather, each involves an entitlement under certain circumstances to leave from employment and return to work following that leave.
Under the N.J. Workers’ Compensation Act, the N.J. Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau is responsible for setting insurance rates and the Division of Workers’ Compensation is responsible for adjudicating contested claims. A claim for workers’ compensation benefits is made through one’s employer and is processed by the employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. If a claim is contested, a formal claim petition must be filed with the Division of Workers’ Compensation in accordance with State law and Court rules. Each employee should consult with his or her employer, or an attorney experienced in Workers’ Compensation law, for details on the filing of a workers’ compensation claim.