STATE BENEFITS

TEMPORARY DISABILITY BENEFITS (TDB)
Under the New Jersey Temporary Disability Benefits Law, cash benefits are payable when an individual cannot work because of sickness or injury NOT caused by their job. However, these benefits are available to those who are injured on-the-job or have an occupational disease where those benefits are delayed for whatever reason. In this latter situation a form musty be filed which acknowledges that a Workers’ Compensation claim has been filed and that, if there is recovery, the TDB benefits will be paid back.

NOTE: In many instances these are the quickest money benefits available to the individual who has been separated from employment (temporarily or permanently) due to injury or illness.

AMOUNT OF BENEFIT: As a rule of thumb these weekly payments will be in the same amount that you would receive under Workers’ Compensation and they run for a maximum of 26 weeks.

TO APPLY: Obtain a form from the Agency and complete Part A. Give your treating doctor the medical (Part B) form to complete. And take the form to your employer (payroll department) to complete Part C (having to do with wage information). Suggestion – Copy the form and give it to the employer to complete while you send in the completed Parts A and B, as there may be a delay in the employer’s submission. To apply click here.

WORKERS’ COMPENSATION: Even if you believe your disability is work-related you can apply for TDB since your WC claim may be delayed. If you have filed for WC or intend to file there is an additional form that must accompany the above application. It is referred to as CONTESTED WORKERS’ COMPENSATION FORM – Inquire at 609-292-7060

PREGNANCY BENEFITS: If you are pregnant, eligibility for temporary disability benefits is determined in the same manner as for any other disabling condition.  When you have stopped working and your doctor certifies that  you are disabled, complete the claim form (DS-1) and mail it to this Division.  If you become disabled within 14 days of your last day of work, you may be eligible for State Plan temporary disability benefits.  If your disability begins more than 14 days after your last day of work, you may be eligible under the Disability During Unemployment Program.  If your employer has a Private Plan for temporary disability benefits, submit your claim through that plan.

For a normal pregnancy, benefits are usually payable for up to four (4) weeks before the expected delivery date and up to six (6) weeks after the actual delivery date (provided that you have not worked during that time).  A doctor may certify that you are disabled for a longer period if:

  • You experience specific complications related to pregnancy.
  • You undergo a Cesarean section.

IMPORTANT:  Do not file your claim before your doctor says that you are disabled and unable to work. Do not file your claim until you have actually stopped working. Your claim may be denied if you file before you become disabled or before you stop working.

UNEMPLOYMENT COMPENSATION (UNC)
IMPORTANT:
What does unemployment have to do with disability? Well, if you have left work because of disability and collected Workers’ Compensation (WC) until you “plateaued” medically – and you are unable to return to that job (assuming you are not totally disabled) –you can Apply for UNC. If you do, keep one thing in mind – you must represent that you are ready, willing and able to work within your physical and emotional limitations – in order to qualify.

DIVISION OF VOCATIONAL REHABILITATION (DVRS)
By contacting your DVRS office, you will tap into a wealth of resources related to employment options for people with disabilities. It is a state agency that provides services that enable individuals with disabilities to find jobs or keep their existing jobs. It assists individuals to secure gainful employment commensurate with their abilities and capabilities through local job searches and awareness of self-employment and telecommuting opportunities.

ELIGIBLE: If you have a physical or mental impairment that is a substantial impediment to employment you may qualify for services. Keep in mind this is not physical rehabilitation; but rather, vocational rehabilitation services being offered. These are services to assist you in acquiring necessary skill sets and practice (and education) that will help you to secure or obtain employment.

TO DO: Call for an appointment. They will interview you and undertake vocational testing. They may request medical records and even have you examined. Their reason for being is to help equip you to be able to have a better competitive advantage in obtaining a job within your physical and emotional capabilities.

SERVICES: Can include –

  • Vocational Counseling & Guidance - Providing assistance to the consumer in handling the job search issues that impact employability, job maintenance strategies, and developing the overall techniques needed to be successful in a work environment.
  • Placement Services - Development of job leads both with and for the consumer and support during the job search; could include On the Job Training (OJT), Supported Employment (SE) or Time Limited -Placement and Coaching (TLPC)
  • Job Seeking Skills - Guidance in work search activities such as resume writing, interviewing skills, job search organization
  • Supported Employment - Through referral to an SE provider, one-on-one assistance in job searching, interviewing, applying for jobs; followed by coaching on the job to facilitate learning job duties and adjusting to the work environment; followed by periodic follow-up  to ensure job retention
  • Time Limited Placement and Coaching - The first two categories of Supported Employment Services without periodic follow-along
  • Job Accommodations - Guidance on changing the worksite’s physical environment or adding equipment that will allow an individual to do more work tasks independently, effectively, and safely
  • Skills Training - Vocational school, technology or trade School, business school, etc.
  • College Training - 2 or 4 year programs leading to a degree
  • Physical Restoration - Equipment or therapies which improve physical or cognitive functioning so that a person is able to work; examples could be physical, occupational, or speech therapy; cognitive therapy which includes those modalities; prosthetics or orthotics such as artificial limbs, braces, special shoes, hearing aides, and eyeglasses (in some instances)
  • Emotional Restoration Services - Short-term individual, group or other types of counseling to reduce symptoms of mental health problems and improve work-tolerance and the ability to get and keep a job.
  • Mobility Equipment
  • Driver Training - Assessment of driving ability and equipment needed to drive safely; assistance in purchasing driver training lessons if needed to reach a specific work goal.
  • Vehicle Modification
  • Home Modifications - services if needed to reach a specific work goal

    PLAN: The consumer and VR counselor jointly develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE) that is goal oriented and based on the consumer's need for services leading to employment.

    COST: Diagnostic evaluation, vocational counseling and guidance, job placement, supported employment services, on-the-job training, job coaching, and work adjustment training in a community rehabilitation program are services provided at no cost to the consumer. However, expenses for medical services, training, books, supplies, tools, and equipment are based on an individual's ability to pay. DVRS financial criteria are less restrictive than those of many other agencies. Counselors are required to locate "comparable benefits", that is, identical services available from other sources. DVRS cannot pay for services and costs an individual incurred prior to being determined eligible.

TO APPLY: Complete the online form

TRANSITION STUDENT: Students within two years of graduation or exit from the school system with a defined disability, who will need further assistance after graduation in order to maintain employment in the adult community is a transition student. Although it is primarily the school district’s responsibility to refer a student to DVRS, at any time the student, parent or any school representative (case manager, counselor, child study team member) may call the nearest local DVRS office to speak to a rehabilitation counselor.  Each school has an assigned rehabilitation counselor who works with that school’s students. 

  • Beginning at age 14, students with a transition plan may receive help from DVRS counselors.  Counselors can review vocational and medical assessments’ and  provide technical consultation.

  • A student may apply to DVRS within two years of the anticipated graduation.  The rehabilitation counselor will meet with the student and evaluate eligibility for DVRS. 

  • The student and the rehabilitation counselor will continue to meet and work on the plans in the transition part of the Individual Education Plan (IEP) or guidance plan.  When the student is ready, the rehabilitation counselor and the student will develop an Individualized Plan for Employment (IPE). This plan describes the services the student and the rehabilitation counselor believe are necessary to get and keep a job.  The counselor will continue working with the individual until the person has found – and demonstrated the ability to keep – a job
COMMISSION FOR THE BLIND AND VISUALLY IMPAIRED (CBVI)
To promote and provide services in the areas of education, employment, independence and eye health through informed choice and partnership with persons who are blind or visually impaired, their families and the community.

MAJOR PROGRAMS: Include –

  • Educational Services
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Independent Living
  • Prevention of Blindness and Eye Health Service

CLIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (CAP)
CAP is a federally funded program that advocates for and protects the rights of individuals with disabilities who are seeking or receiving rehabilitation services. CAP assists individuals with disabilities in securing and understanding rehabilitation services from:

  • Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services (DVRS);
  • Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired (CBVI);
    Centers for Independent Living; and other rehabilitation projects and programs.

ESTABLISHED: CAP was established as a mandated program by the 1984 Amendment to the Rehabilitation Act. Every state and territory, as a condition for receiving allotments under Section 110 of the Rehabilitation Act, must have a CAP.

SERVICES: CAP provides individual legal representation and non-legal individual and systemic advocacy, together with information and referral services, outreach, and education. CAP usually works through negotiation, but is authorized to pursue legal, administrative and other appropriate remedies.

ELIGIBLE: You should contact CAP if:

  • you have been recently disabled and are wondering how to apply for rehabilitation services;
  • you are having difficulty finding rehabilitation services and want information about other resources;
  • you applied for rehabilitation services and were turned down;
  • you are concerned about your relationship with your counselor or staff members;
  • you are dissatisfied with the rehabilitation services you are receiving;
  • you have questions regarding policies, procedures, services or programs;
  • your case has been closed and you want to be reconsidered for rehabilitation services; or
  • you are just not sure what to do.

CONTACT: All requests for assistance are processed the NJP&A Intake Office. Services are provided free of charge. The vast majority of requests for assistance are received and processed by telephone or TTY. The Intake Office is available to conduct telephone or in-person intake interviews Monday through Friday between the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 5:00 p.m.

(800) 922-7233 (toll-free in New Jersey only) or
(609) 292-9742
(609) 633-7106 (TTY)
TTY users may also call through the NJ Relay at: 711

email - advocate@njpanda.org


NJ FAMILY CARE (SCHIP)
New Jersey Family Care is a Federal and state funded health insurance program created to help New Jersey's uninsured children to have affordable health coverage. It is not a welfare program. New Jersey Family Care is for hard-working families who cannot afford to privately pay the high cost of health insurance.

ELIGIBILITY: Is based on family size and monthly income. Assets are not considered when determining eligibility. New Jersey Family Care is a comprehensive health insurance program that will provide many if not all of your child's health care needs.

SERVICES: A sample of the services provided by NJFC are: physician services, preventive health care, emergency medical care, inpatient hospital services, outpatient hospital services, laboratory services, prescription drugs, eyeglasses, dental services in most cases, emergency transportation, mental health services, plus many more.

TO QUALIFY: In order to qualify for this benefit program, you-

  • must be a resident of New Jersey, under 19 years of age,
  • not covered by health insurance (including Medicaid),
  • a US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident,
  • must have an annual household income before taxes of
    less than $31,431 if one person lives in the household;
    $42,421 if two people live in the household; $53,411 if three people live in the household; $64,401 if four people live in the household; $75,391 if five people live in the household; $86,381 if six people live in the household; $97,371 if seven people live in the household; $108,361 if eight people live in the household; $130,341 if 10 people live in the household; $141,331 if 11 people live in the household; $152,321 if 12 people live in the household; and $163,311 if more than 12 people live in the household.

INFO: For more information on New Jersey Family Care or the services provided, call: 800-701-0710

MEDICAID
The Division of Medical Assistance and Health Services (DMAHS) administer state-and Federally- funded health insurance programs for certain groups of low and moderate income people. New Jersey Medicaid is an entitlement program that provides health insurance for more than 600,000 very low-income parents, children and people who are aged, blind or disabled. It pays for hospital, doctor, prescription drug, nursing home and many other healthcare benefits.

ELIGIBLE: In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of the State of New Jersey, a US national, citizen or permanent resident in need of health care/insurance assistance, whose financial situation would be characterized as low income or very low income. You must also be either pregnant, have a child(ren) with a disability, or be responsible for children under 19 years of age.

CONTACT: The Office of Customer Service oversees ten (10) Medical Assistance Customer Centers (MACC) throughout the State. The MACCs serve as focal points of information and problem solving for customers, families, providers and other agencies throughout the State.

CALL: People can apply for the New Jersey Medicaid program either by calling: 800-356-1561 or by contacting their appropriate local office. To find the office nearest you, click here.


NEW JERSEY LOW INCOME HOME ENERGY ASSISTANCE PROGRAM (LIHEAP)
Provides subsidies to help low-income families (due to disability or otherwise) and individuals meet home heating and medically necessary cooling costs. LIHEAP funds can also be used for energy crisis intervention and low cost residential weatherization and other energy related home repairs.

APPLY: Applications are accepted beginning on November 1 and ending on March 31 for both heating and cooling assistance costs. Persons applying for LIHEAP should present: Social Security Card, Driver's license or birth certificate, Proof of residence, Current fuel/utility bill showing account number and the name, address, telephone number of the dealer, proof of earnings and any other requested documentation. Renters who pay their share of the heat must present a copy of the lease or an affidavit from the landlord. Persons who live in public housing and/or receive rental assistance are not eligible, unless they pay their own heating or cooling costs directly to the fuel suppliers.

QUESTIONS: Call 800-510-3102 or visit website.

NOTE: For persons age 60 or over, or who are disabled, applications may be received and returned by mail. Other households may apply by mail at the discretion of the local agency.

SCHOOL BREAKFAST PROGRAM
Provides funding that makes it possible for schools to offer a nutritious breakfast to students each day. Similarly, the goal of the National School Lunch Program (NSLP) is to protect the health and well being of the nation's children by providing nutritious school meals every day. NSLP provides funding that makes it possible for schools to offer a nutritious school lunch. Schools receive Federal funds for each breakfast and lunch served, provided that the meal meets established nutrition standards.

QUALIFY: You must be

  • a resident of the State of New Jersey and
  • a parent or primary caregiver responsible for a child(ren) who attends school (high school or under).
  • With an annual household income before taxes that must not exceed $23,107 if two people live in the household;
    $28,990 if three people live in the household;
    $34,873 if four people live in the household;
    $40,756 if five people live in the household;
    $46,639 if six people live in the household,
    or $52,222 if seven people live in the household.
    add $3,180 for each additional person in the home

APPLICATION: For more information,
609-984-0692 or go to the website.

NEW JERSEY WORK FIRST (TANF)
New Jersey's welfare reform program, Work First New Jersey (WFNJ), was initiated in April 1997, following the passage of sweeping Federal reforms in 1996, known as the Personal Responsibility and Work Opportunity Reconciliation Act. Under the Act, the Federal program for families became known as Temporary Assistance to Needy Families (TANF).

BENEFITS: Under the supervision of the NJ Division of Family Development (DVD), WFNJ provides temporary cash assistance and many other support services to families through the TANF program. WFNJ emphasizes work as the first step toward building a new life and a brighter future. Goal is to help people get off welfare, secure employment and become self-sufficient through job training, education and work activities

ELIGIBLE: In order to qualify for this benefit program, you must be a resident of New Jersey, either pregnant or responsible for a child under 19 years of age, a US national, citizen, legal alien, or permanent resident, have low or very low income, and be either under-employed (working for very low wages), unemployed or about to become unemployed.

APPLY: There are 21 county welfare agencies within New Jersey who administer the TANF program. To determine whether you are eligible for Work First New Jersey benefits, contact your county welfare agency. For a complete list of the agencies available click here.

AGING AND DISABILITY RESOURCE CONNECTION (ADRC)

NOTE: This is a great site – packed full of valuable information. Don’t pass it by. Browse every page and link.

PURPOSE: to establish "one-door" access to services that will help people age in place. In New Jersey, this is called the Aging and Disability Resource Connection (ADRC). It has been successfully tested in Atlantic and Warren Counties and will be expanded to five more counties by 2009.

INFO: For websites or printable information related to an older adult, a person with a disability, or a caregiver? General topics are defined and listed by category A to Z

CARING FOR OTHERS: Care giving is the active, unpaid, and continuous help provided to a person with a disability, or to a person who is frail or elderly. Through this door you will find general information on topics of particular interest to caregivers and some tools that will help you evaluate your needs.

OTHER BENEFITS: Enter this door to find program applications that can be printed or completed online.  You will also find online screening tools that will help you learn if you are eligible for some programs.

QUICK LINKS: Click here for quick access to websites for many New Jersey agencies, facilities and toll-free numbers.


THE DIVISION OF THE DEAF AND HARD OF HEARING (DDHH)

Advocates for people in New Jersey who are deaf or hard of hearing, a number estimated to be as high as 720,000. It assists them in numerous ways to gain access to programs, services and information routinely available to people upon request. Although DDHH once was involved primarily with trying to improve employment and vocational opportunities, today it assists people who are deaf and hard of hearing with a host of social, legal, medical, educational and recreational issues.

SERVICES: DDHH administers New Jersey's primary sign language interpreter referral service, responds to thousands of requests for assistance through its information and referral hotline each year, publishes a monthly newsletter and other resource information and distributes Text Teleph one equipment, Voice Carryover Phones and Smoke Detectors.

ASSISTIVE DEVICES: DDHH established an Assistive Device Demonstration Center at the Joseph Kohn Rehabilitation Center, which is operated by the Commission for the Blind and Visually Impaired in New Brunswick. Devices that assist people with hearing loss are on display for hands-on demonstration. These devices include TTYs, VCO telephones, smoke detectors, doorbell signalers, and assistive listening devices. One may visit the center by calling the Division at 800-792-8339 V/TTY or 609-984-7281 V/TTY to schedule an appointment.

INTERPRETER REFERRAL SERVICE: The Division of the Deaf and Hard of Hearing operates the Interpreter Referral Service (IRS), which is New Jersey 's primary way of coordinating communication access for people who are Deaf or Hard of Hearing.

  • Through the Interpreter Referral Service, DDHH maintains a statewide list of
    • American Sign Language Interpreters
    • CART Reporters
    • C-Print Operators
  • Each interpreter on the list holds either a current certificate from the Registry of Interpreters for the Deaf (RID) or has passed a screening administered by DDHH.
  • Once the IRS coordinators receive a request for assistance, they determine if an interpreter, CART Reporter or C-Print Operator is available on the day and time requested. If so, the coordinator will contact the requester and make the referral.
  • In addition to scheduling interpreters, the IRS coordinators advocate for access to services and programs for Deaf, Deaf-Blind, Hard of Hearing, and Late-Deafened individuals, pursuant to the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, Sections 501-508 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, Public Law 94-142 and NJSA 34:1-69.7 et seq.
  • They also serve as a resource to other state agencies and private organizations on policies, procedures and issues concerning services to persons with hearing loss.
  • You may contact the Interpreter Referral Service at 609-984- 7283 V/TTY.

ONE-STOP CAREER CENTERS
New Jersey's One-Stop Career Centers are staffed with qualified professionals who can assist with obtaining employment or the training you need to meet the demands of our present workforce. Employment counselors can help explore career choices relating to your interests and abilities and will help you explore a career path that can best utilize your skills in the current job market.

SERVICES: (If you are out of work due to disability or otherwise) the One-Stop Career Centers also offer educational training programs in  vocational and trade schools or on-site at the One-Stop, on-the-job training with local employers and apprenticeships in many fields. In addition, Job Search Readiness Workshops provide information on how to successfully look for a job, conduct yourself in an interview, write a resume or learn about the local labor market. More Info

CATASTROPHIC ILLNESS IN CHILDREN RELIEF FUND

DEFINITION: In the Catastrophic Illness in Children Relief Fund Program, any illness can be "catastrophic" based on uncovered eligible medical expenses and the family's income in a prior 12-month time period.

  • A catastrophic illness is any illness or condition, acute or chronic, for which expenses are incurred that are not fully covered by insurance, state, federal programs, or other sources and exceed the program's eligibility threshold.
  • There are no specific exclusions by diagnosis.

ELIGIBLE: Requirements are -
In any prior, consecutive, 12 month period, dating back to 1988, eligible expenses must exceed 10% of the family's income, plus 15% of any excess income over $100,000.

The child must have been 21 years or younger when the medical expenses were incurred.
The family must have lived in New Jersey for 3 months immediately prior to the date of application. Migrant workers may be eligible, temporary residents are not.

DIVISION OF MENTAL HEALTH SERVICES (DMHS)
The Division of Mental Health Services (DMHS) serves adults with serious and persistent mental illnesses. Central to the Division's mission is the fact that these individuals are entitled to dignified and meaningful lives. With an operating budget of over $704,000,000 for FY 2008 and 5,700 employees, services are available to anyone in the state who feels they need help with a mental health problem.

To learn more about how to receive services:

For information on receiving services in the New Jersey public mental health system.

If you are in crisis, call a local screening center

For information about disaster mental health services go to our Disaster & Terrorism Branch website.

For information about local mental health services contact your County Mental Health Administrator

Other helpful phone numbers and resources for Getting Help.

Information for Antipsychotic Medication Users (versions available in English and Spanish)

SERVICES: This agency - operates five psychiatric hospitals monitors and helps fund psychiatric services provided by a number of county hospitals contracts with more than 120 agencies for a wide range of community mental health services that assist mental health consumers living in the community.

TREATMENT: Each year, DMHS serves over 6,500 people who, for some period of time, require intensive inpatient treatment in state psychiatric hospitals and over 270,000 people who are able to live more independently and use services in their own communities.

  • In addition, DMHS supports through direct funding and other means approximately 6,000 people, who require inpatient treatment from the six county-operated psychiatric units/hospitals, as well as formally approving (via a formal designation process) the quality of inpatient care provided by Short Term Care Facilities and Children's Crisis Intervention Units in local general hospitals. To do this, DMHS employs over 5,700 people and operates an annual budget of more than $732 million. DMHS is committed to helping the people it serves find the treatment and support services they need in the least restrictive setting possible.

  • The Division works closely with other state agencies, consumers, family members, providers and mental health advocates whenever possible and always strives to promote opportunities for mental health consumers to live, work, socialize and learn as fully as possible in their own communities.

    DIRECTIONS: For directions to the New Jersey Division of Mental Health Services click here.

    CONTACT: 1-800-382-6717 - Toll Free

 

 


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