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New Jersey lawmakers on Thursday passed legislation to increase burial expense allowances for workers compensation claimants and clarify benefits payments.
A.B. 4134, which passed on a 70-5 vote, would change the law to immediately begin computation of death benefits, but not distribution, for all pending traumatic accident claims or occupational disease or injury cases that have not been adjudicated or approved for settlement. The current law did not specify accrual prior to settlement.
Under the legislation, the accrual would be 70% of the deceased wages for one or more dependents, and maximum burial expenses would be raised to $5,000 from $3,500.
A companion bill, S.B. 2722, was introduced in the state’s Senate in July.