(c) 2017 Jon L Gelman, All Rights Reserved.

Saturday, October 14, 2017

2018 Social Security Changes - COLA Increases

The Social Security Administration has announced based on the increase in the Consumer Price Index (CPI-W) from the third quarter of 2016 through the third quarter of 2017, Social Security and Supplemental Security Income (SSI) beneficiaries will receive a 2.0 percent COLA for 2018.

Sunday, October 8, 2017

NASI Study: Employers & Employees Lose With Workers' Compensation

WASHINGTON, D.C. – Workers’ compensation employer costs as a share of payroll declined in 2015, reversing a four-year trend, and benefits as a share of payroll fell for the fourth straight year, according to a new report from the National Academy of Social Insurance (the Academy).

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Some Surprising 2016 SSA-DIB Statistics

Size and Scope of the Social Security Disability Program
  1. Disability benefits were paid to almost 10.2 million people. 
  2. Awards to disabled workers (706,448) accounted for 88 percent of awards to all disabled beneficiaries (799,330). 
  3. In December, payments to disabled beneficiaries totaled more than $11.3 billion. 
  4. Benefits were terminated for 820,372 disabled workers. 
  5. Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about one out of six disabled beneficiaries. 
 Profile of Disabled-Worker Beneficiaries 
  1. Workers accounted for the largest share of disabled beneficiaries (87 percent). 
  2. The average age was 54. 
  3. Men represented less than 52 percent. 
  4. The largest category of diagnoses was diseases of the musculoskeletal system and connective tissue (32.3 percent). 
  5. Average monthly benefit received was $1,171.15. 
  6. Supplemental Security Income payments were another source of income for about one out of eight. 

Since 1956, the Social Security program has provided cash bene ts to people with disabilities. This annual report provides program and demographic information about the people who receive those benefits. The basic topics covered are— beneficiaries in current-payment status;
  • workers’ compensation and public disability benefits; 
  • benefitts awarded, withheld, and terminated; 
  • disabled workers who have returned to work; 
  • outcomes of applications for disability bene ts; and 
  • disabled beneficiaries receiving Social Security, Supplemental Security Income, or both. 

Friday, September 8, 2017

Proposed New Code of Conduct for NJ Judges of Compensation

The Department is proposing repeals, amendments, and a new rule, which would result in the adoption of a new Code of Conduct for Judges of Compensation (Code). The proposed adoption of a new Code is prompted by the Supreme Court of New Jersey (Supreme Court) having recently adopted a revised New Jersey Code of Judicial Conduct, effective September 1, 2016, which applies to judges who serve within the judicial branch of State government, as opposed to those, like Judges of Compensation, who serve within the executive branch of State government.

New Jersey Workers' Compensation Maximum Rates to Increase in 2018

 In accordance with the provisions of N.J.S.A. 34:15-12.a, the maximum workers' compensation benefit rate for temporary disability, permanent total disability, permanent partial disability, and dependency is hereby promulgated as being $903.00 per week.

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Technology - Efficiency - Uniform Procedure

For decades the NJ Workers' Compensation administrative law system has had to adapt to meet the social, political, economic and technological changes of a changing world. The well thought-out proposals by the NJ State Bar Association (NJSBA) are a starting point to the beginning of a new wave of discussion and change.

Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Looking for Order in the Land of Chaos

The NJ Appellate Division was again faced with a dispute over medical fees. This issue has engulfed the NJ Division of Workers' Compensation over the decades. New Jersey remains a member of a diminishing minority of seven jurisdictions that lack a medical fee schedule for workers' compensation claims.