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Downey Bill to Increase Efficiency of Temporary Disability Claims Processing Clears Committee

One in Three TDI Claims Takes More Than Three Weeks to Process

Legislation Assemblywoman Joann Downey sponsored to decrease the amount of time disabled workers must wait before receiving state disability benefits was advanced Monday by an Assembly committee.

New Jersey is one of five states that offers temporary disability insurance (TDI), which provides workers with up to 26 weeks of benefits when they are unable to work due to non-occupational, short-term disabilities. The program provides weekly benefits up to two-thirds of a worker’s weekly wage. Pregnancy, childbirth and complications of childbirth account for about 25 percent of all claims and benefits.

About 35 percent of TDI claims take more than three weeks for LWD to process, according 2014 data from the department.

The bill (A-4172) would require the Division of Unemployment and Temporary Disability Insurance in the Department of Labor and Workforce Development to make a determination of eligibility for family temporary disability leave benefits and pay out the benefits within three weeks of receiving a notice of a claim for benefits from the employer and employee.

“Beneficiaries who rely on TDI benefits – a quarter of whom are women caring for newborn children – often face a significant financial burden when they have to wait weeks before they receive payment,” said Downey (D-Monmouth). “If the employee and his or her employer complete and submit all the necessary paperwork properly, there’s no reason it should take more than three weeks for the beneficiary to receive payment.”

The measure was advanced by the Assembly Labor Committee.