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New Jersey passes bill upping payout to essential worker dependents

Posted On: Mar. 2, 2021 12:53 PM CST


New Jersey lawmakers have passed legislation providing supplemental workers compensation benefits to surviving dependents of essential workers who died of COVID-19.

S.B. 2476, which passed the state’s Assembly in a 55-12 vote Monday, would provide weekly supplemental benefits from the state’s Second Injury Fund to surviving eligible dependents of workers who died after March 1, 2020, from contracting the coronavirus at work.

The bill passed the state’s Senate in June 2020 in a 38-1 vote.

Essential employees are defined as fire, police and other first responders; medical and other health care service providers; public-facing workers providing transportation or financial services; those involved in the production, preparation, storage, sale and distribution of essential goods; and other employees deemed essential in the state of emergency.

The supplemental benefits are intended to mirror cost-of-living-adjustment benefits in place for dependents of public safety workers killed in the line of duty. The additional benefits would be paid during the period in which the dependents receive the initially awarded weekly benefits and would be reduced accordingly for dependents receiving Federal Old-Age, Survivors’ and Disability Insurance Act benefits.

If signed into law, the legislation would take effect immediately.

More insurance and workers compensation news on the coronavirus crisis here.