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What are the Two New Bills Improving Disability in New Jersey?

Long Branch employment lawyers support disability and family leave laws in New Jersey. New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has just signed two bills into law that will take immediate effect and make the process of claiming short term disability and paid family leave benefits faster and easier. The two new bills are part of the state’s extensive overhaul of the paid family leave and disability insurance programs that are due to take effect in mid-2020.

Immediate Effects for New Jersey Residents

New Jersey residents can now apply for pregnancy, childcare, and medical temporary disability insurance and for paid family leave insurance up to 60 days before their claim period begins. Pregnant women can now put their plans for leave in place up to two months before they are ready to begin their claim period.  Residents facing surgical procedures or who anticipate the need to provide childcare or assistance to ill family members can also make their claims as far as two months prior to their scheduled leave of absence.

This law will provide much needed improvement in the length of time it takes workers to claim temporary disability and paid family leave benefits. Claims processed 60 days in advance allow time for the processing of claims and the expediting of compensation. Prior to this law, New Jersey residents often experienced delays in receiving their benefits when beginning their claim period.

The second new law that will take immediate effect will make the process for applying for temporary disability and paid family leave easier and more efficient.  Workers that apply for temporary disability benefits will automatically have their application for paid family leave submitted and processed. This new law will eliminate the need for duplicate applications and will make the overall claims process more efficient.

What Can New Jersey Residents Expect in 2020?

New Jersey residents can expect to see several significant improvements when the disability and paid family leave law is implemented in 2020.  The following are some of the anticipated changes:

  • Businesses with as few as 30 employees are now required to provide protected leave requirements. In the past, only businesses with a minimum of 50 employees were mandated to provide this protection.
  • Pregnant women can take up to four weeks of temporary disability to prepare for the birth of a child, and up to eight weeks of paid family leave after the birth of their child.
  • The disability and paid family leave compensation benefit is being increased from 65 percent of an individual’s salary to more than 80 percent and increases the cap amount from $650 per week to $860 per week for a period of 12 weeks.
  • Family leave benefits will now include time off to care for family members that are victims of domestic violence.
  • Employers will be restricted from requiring employees to use their paid time off allowances for paid family leave.
  • Employers will also be restricted from mandating that employees utilize their disability or family leave consecutively. Employees will now be able to use their leave as needed, even when they require intermittent leave.

Long Branch Employment Lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. Support Disability and Family Leave Laws in New Jersey

If you are planning to apply for disability or paid family leave, be sure you are utilizing all the benefits of New Jersey’s laws. Call the Long Branch employment lawyers at Fox & Melofchik, L.L.C. at 732-493-9400 or contact us online to schedule a free consultation today. Our Eatontown, New Jersey office serves clients throughout Monmouth County, Ocean County, Middlesex County, Mercer County, Asbury Park, Neptune, Long Branch, Keansburg, Ocean Township, Eatontown, Red Bank, Middletown, Colts Neck, Deal, Freehold, Holmdel, Jackson, Little Silver, Marlboro, and Rumson.

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