Ever since your work accident, you’ve become a big fan of turtlenecks. The injury has healed, but the ugly scar running down your neck and the side of your face is a daily reminder of what happened—and although your coworkers have been very sympathetic, you would rather they just treated you like everyone else.
Your surgery was months ago, and the scars will probably never fade away. Are you just going to have to accept the fact that you will have to shoulder the burden alone?
New Jersey Workers’ Comp Will Only Cover Certain Types of Scars
Although the New Jersey workers’ compensation system recognizes scarring as a compensable injury, only scars which are considered "disfiguring" are eligible for payment. These payments are made in addition to any compensation the victim has already been given to cover loss of income and medical bills from the original injury.
Workers’ compensation eligibility for a scar depends on the following factors:
- Location. New Jersey workers’ compensation will only allow benefits for a scar on the head, face, neck or hands, as these locations are usually visible to the public and can affect a victim’s self-esteem.
- Cause. In order to qualify, your scar must be a result of an accident at work. The most common causes include burns (thermal or chemical), electrocution, broken bones, amputation, lacerations, or surgical procedures that were necessary after a work injury.
- Appearance. Pictures may be used to evaluate the appearance of your scar (such as the size and color) to determine if your scar is disfiguring. An estimate of the costs and likelihood of fully correcting the cosmetic damage may also be relevant to your case.
- Limitations. Your scar may be not be disfiguring, but it can cause limitations in other ways, such as limiting your range of motion, causing pain or skin irritation, or otherwise affecting your quality of life.
A scar isn’t just the memory of an injury; it is an injury. A scar on your face can affect others’ perception of you, can ruin your self-confidence, and can affect how you are treated for the rest of your life. If you need help getting your benefits reinstated due to a facial or neck scar, click the contact link on this page to have us begin working on your behalf. You can also get instant information by reading through a copy of our FREE book, What the Injured Worker Needs to Know: Your Workers' Comp Guide.