Even during a good economy, some people find it necessary to work at a second job to make ends meet, or choose to do so to get ahead. But what happens if you get hurt at one job, and can’t work at the other because of your injury? Workers’ compensation will only pay wage replacement benefits for the job in which you were injured. You may apply for TDI benefits from the State of New Jersey if you are disabled from working at the second job. However, there are many exceptions and pitfalls to be aware of when collecting both workers’ compensation and TDI.
When applying for TDI benefits for part-time employment, you must take special care in completing Part A of the Application. You must indicate on the form whether or not the injury was caused by your employment. This question continues to cause much confusion for applicants with multiple jobs, in which only one job caused the injury. Some attorneys advise their clients to check off “no” to this answer, if the injury was not caused by the specific job for which you are claiming benefits, but to add a note clarifying that the injury is related to your job with a completely different employer. The reason for going through this seemingly unnecessary step is to avoid the bureaucratic red tape which will be unleashed if the injury is listed as work-related.
You cannot receive duplicate benefits from both workers’ compensation and TDI, covering the same loss of income. If your injury is reported as work-related, then you must list all of your employments at the time the disability arose, so that your total income is taken into account to compute your TDI rate. Your rate will then be reduced by the amount you receive through workers’ compensation. Unfortunately, the State continues to mistakenly place TDI liens on many unrelated workers’ compensation cases. Your attorney must then try to persuade the State to lift the lien, resulting in unnecessary delays at the time your workers’ compensation claim is resolved.