Individuals could face various risks while performing their duties in their jobs. Some occupations come with more hazards than others. Still, they could find comfort in knowing that they could rely on their workers’ compensation coverage if anything happened to them. However, what could they do if they discover their employer failed to acquire workers’ compensation insurance coverage for their injured employees?
Employees might worry under these circumstances. Still, the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Law has provisions to address these situations. It set up the Uninsured Employer’s Fund (UEF) meant to help aid employees of uninsured employers. The fund could help cover medical costs and provide disability benefits if they suffer an eligible work injury.
Employees applying for the UEF will make a formal claim petition without indicating an insurance provider. Then, the New Jersey Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau will investigate the claim and inspect whether the employer has coverage.
What happens to the employee and their employer?
If the bureau finds no insurer for the employer, they will schedule a hearing where an attorney will represent the UEF. The injured employee must also provide relevant documentation to the UEF representative and the court. What happens next depends on the hearing’s results.
The employer could receive an order to cover the employee’s benefits if found without the legally required insurance provisions. If the employer cannot make these payments, they could face further legal action based on the situation. Then, the judge will issue an order to pay out benefits using the UEF after the employee files their application.
Prioritizing the employees
The law requires employers to obtain insurance coverage for their employees. However, the employer’s noncompliance is not the employee’s fault. Fortunately, legal protections are in place to help cover employees regardless of unfavorable circumstances.