Police officers and fire fighters have always had a dangerous job. Today, with increases in violence, the police and fire departments have more work related risks than ever before. In 2015, 123 on-duty police officers and 68 fire fighters lost their lives while on duty. On average, in New Jersey three police officers and four fire fighters are fatally injured per year.
Workers' Compensation in New Jersey Throughout the Years
In New Jersey, the surviving spouses of our fallen heroes are entitled to a lifetime dependency benefit of 70 percent of their departed spouse's income. This benefit has changed over the decades. In fact, prior to 1966, surviving spouse compensation benefits only lasted for 350 weeks. Then, in 1966, the benefits were extended for the length of the surviving spouses' life. However, after 450 weeks, they would be adjusted to offset any salary the surviving spouse may have earned from having or obtaining a job. In 1990, the offset mechanism was dropped so the benefit remained at 70 percent for entire time of survivorship, but the law was further amended to discontinue benefits to the spouse if the spouse remarried. In the case of remarriage, the spouse was entitled to a one-time payment of 100 times the weekly benefit. In 2013, New Jersey amended the law to eliminate the remarriage penalty. Today, spouses of fallen police officers and fire fighters are entitled to death benefits for their entire lives regardless of whether they remarry.
Using statistics regarding the average age of on-duty police officer's death and the expected length of the survivor's life, the state has estimated that the cost of providing death benefits to a typical survivor is 1.8 million dollars. Regardless of the line of work you are in, it is important to know your survivor's benefit rights that can help support your family should something happen to you on the job.
Vineland Workers' Compensation Lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC Advocate for Those Injured at Work
If you have been injured at work or have questions regarding your Workers' Compensation benefits or Workers' Compensation in New Jersey, speak with one of the experienced Vineland Workers' Compensation lawyers at Rone & Kowalski, LLC. We can answer any questions you have about and help you navigate the process. Complete our online form or call our Milmay offices at 609-476-4044 x203 today to get started on your case with a member of our team. We proudly serve clients throughout South Jersey, including the areas of Vineland, Millville, Buena Vista, Maurice River Township, Upper Deerfield Township, Greenwich Township, Stow Creek Township, and Cumberland County.