New Jersey Temporary Disability: Key Changes

Key Changes and Next Steps for Employers

  • 11 July 2019
New Jersey Temporary Disability: Key Changes

On February 19, 2019, New Jersey Bill A3975 was signed into law by Governor Murphy. This bill revises the laws concerning Temporary Disability Insurance (TDI) and Family Leave (FLI) including pregnancy temporary disability leave, family temporary disability leave, and domestic or sexual violence safety leave.  You can download a copy of the bill here. 

In today’s post, we will focus on the changes that impact Temporary Disability Insurance. The changes to Family Leave Insurance will be covered in a separate post coming soon.

Key Changes to New Jersey Temporary Disability Insurance Already in Effect

  1. Removal of the employee majority election and signature requirement for contributory plans transferring to an approved private Temporary Disability Insurance plan.  Please note that employees subject to a collective bargaining agreement may still require a majority election to be held.  We’ll have more on approved private plans, and the notice requirements surrounding switching in the next couple of weeks – subscribe to updates here to stay in the know!
  2. Electronic filing of application forms will be accepted.  The State is working on enabling this new form of submissions.  Get a list of all the items still to be determined on TDB here.
  3. An employer can't retaliate against an employee by refusing to restore the employee following a period of leave, subject to the provisions of the New Jersey Family Leave Act.
  4. Employees can now use TDB during a period of otherwise unpaid leave under New Jersey’s SAFE Act — when they or a family member are a victim of domestic or sexual violence.

More TDI changes coming in 2020

There are a few changes to TDI that go into effect at different points in 2020. The two main dates to remember are January 1, 2020, and July 1, 2020.  Here’s what is changing:

 

Change Type

Current

2020

Change Effective Date

Increase in taxable wage cap

28 times the NJ State Average Weekly Wage (SAWW)

107 times the SAWW

01/01/2020

Increase in TDI max weekly benefit

2/3 of employee’s average weekly wage capped at 53% of SAWW

85% of employee’s average weekly wage, capped at 70% of SAWW

07/01/2020

Partial TDI benefits

N/A

Available while claimant is working on a reduced work schedule

07/01/2020

 

Don’t forget about these routine TDI updates that already happen January each year:

  • Update to New Jersey SAWW
  • Update to the employee contribution rate
  • Update to the Base Week amount
  • Update to the alternative earnings test

What should New Jersey employers do to prepare?

NJ employers may want to start preparing for the changes coming in 2020.  Here’s a brief checklist with things to consider:

  • Update internal policies/employee handbooks – keep in mind that some of these changes are already in effect, such as the new retaliation protection we explained above
  • Post and distribute revised employee notices when they become available from NJ
  • Update payroll systems to account for increased taxable wage cap and employee contribution rate
  • Consider moving to an approved private plan for TDI coverage.  More details on why a private plan might be a good fit for your group coming soon!  Subscribe here.

 

We are here to help guide you through all these important Temporary Disability Insurance changes.  If you have any questions along the way our experts will be happy to help – contact us anytime at: TDIQuestions@shelterpoint.com 

 

The information in this post is not intended as an offer of coverage (“Invitation to Contract”). It is for illustrative purposes only, providing a general overview of the services described. It is not a contract. Available in NJ only. The Temporary Disability Benefits (TDB) Law (Temporary Disability Benefits law (P.L.1948, c.110 (C:43-21-25 et seq.) governs this private plan and its interpretation and administration. All coverage extends up to TDB Law limits reflected in this policy. Please refer to the policy and TDB law for coverage details, a complete listing of covered services, provisions, conditions, exclusions, and terms under which the policy may be continued or cancelled. In the event of conflicting information with the policy and applicable TDB Law, the policy and TDB Law will take precedence over what is shown in this material. Claim payment is not guaranteed; benefit amount depends on wages. Policies have a statutory 7-day waiting period.

Underwritten by:

ShelterPoint Life Insurance Company (principal office in Garden City, NY) in: NJ (form# TDB-P-NJ

 

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