Section 40 lien reimbursements now allow for a reduction of up to $750 for petitioner’s expenses where a petitioner has recovered money in a third-party suit. Petitioner’s expenses were previously limited to a reduction of $200. This change has been codified at N.J.S.A. 34:15-40. The upshot: workers’ compensation insurers will now recover slightly less from claimants who receive an award or settlement in a third-party suit.
New for 2007: A Judge of Compensation can now award interest on awards that have not been paid within 60 days. This is a significant change in the law, as compensation judges previously could not award interest for withheld payments until after 90 days. This change has been codified at N.J.S.A. 34:15-28. Practice tip: issue payments due under an award as soon as possible to avoid a motion for interest (which can be brought by petitioner’s counsel or the Judge herself).
We’ve already reported on P.L. 2006, c. 103, codified at N.J.S.A. 37:1-28 which permits same-sex couples to enter into legally sanctioned unions. The new law requires that civil union couples are to be provided “the same benefits as married couples with respect to workers’ compensation benefits including but not limited to survivors benefits and payment of back wages.” As required by this provision, dependency benefits under N.J.S.A. 34:15-13 are to be provided to same-sex survivors of a civil union.