Bill Text: NJ S3085 | 2016-2017 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Increases duration and weekly amount of family temporary disability benefits.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 4-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2017-06-15 - Reported from Senate Committee as a Substitute, 2nd Reading [S3085 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2016-S3085-Introduced.html

SENATE, No. 3085

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

217th LEGISLATURE

INTRODUCED MARCH 13, 2017

 


 

Sponsored by:

Senator  STEPHEN M. SWEENEY

District 3 (Cumberland, Gloucester and Salem)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Increases duration and weekly amount of family temporary disability benefits.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     As introduced.

 


An Act concerning the amount and duration of family temporary disability benefits and amending P.L.1948, c.110.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    Section 14 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-38) is amended to read as follows:

     14.  With respect to any period of disability for an individual's own disability commencing on or after January 1, 1953, disability benefits, not in excess of an individual's maximum benefits, shall be payable with respect to disability which commences while a person is a covered individual under the Temporary Disability Benefits Law, and shall be payable with respect to the eighth consecutive day of such disability and each day thereafter that such period of disability continues; and if benefits shall be payable for three consecutive weeks with respect to any period of disability commencing on or after January 1, 1968, then benefits shall also be payable with respect to the first seven days thereof.  With respect to any period of family temporary disability leave commencing on or after July 1, 2009 and while an individual is a covered individual, family temporary disability benefits, not in excess of the individual's maximum benefits, shall be payable with respect to the first day of leave taken after the first one-week period following the commencement of the period of family temporary disability leave and each subsequent day of leave during that period of family temporary disability leave; and if benefits become payable on any day after the first three weeks in which leave is taken, then benefits shall also be payable with respect to any leave taken during the first one-week period in which leave is taken.  The maximum total benefits payable to any eligible individual for any period of disability of the individual commencing on or after January 1, 1968, shall be either 26 times his weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of his total wages in his base year, whichever is the lesser; provided that such maximum amount shall be computed in the next lower multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof.  The maximum total benefits payable to any eligible individual for any period of family temporary disability leave commencing on or after July 1, 2009 and before July 1, 2018, shall be six times the individual's weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of his total wages in his base year, whichever is the lesser; provided that the maximum amount shall be computed in the next lower multiple of $1.00, if not already a multiple thereof.  The maximum total benefits payable to any eligible individual for any period of family temporary disability leave commencing on or after July 1, 2018, shall be twelve times the individual's weekly benefit amount or 1/3 of the individual's total wages in the individual's base year, whichever is the lesser; provided that the maximum amount shall be computed in the next lower multiple of $1.00, if not already a multiple thereof.

(cf: P.L.2008, c.17, s.5)

 

     2.    Section 15 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-39) is amended to read as follows:

     15.  Limitation of benefits.  Notwithstanding any other provision of the "Temporary Disability Benefits Law," P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-25 et al.), no benefits shall be payable under the State plan to any individual:

     (a)   for the first seven consecutive days of each period of disability; except that:

     (1)   if benefits shall be payable for three consecutive weeks with respect to any period of disability, then benefits shall also be payable with respect to the first seven days thereof;

     (2)   in the case of intermittent leave in a single period of family temporary disability leave taken to provide care for a family member of the individual with a serious health condition, benefits shall be payable with respect to the first day of leave taken after the first one-week period following the commencement of the period of family temporary disability leave and each subsequent day of leave during that period of family temporary disability leave; and if benefits become payable on any day after the first three weeks in which leave is taken, then benefits shall also be payable with respect to any leave taken during the first one-week period in which leave is taken; and

     (3)   in the case of an individual taking family temporary disability leave immediately after the individual has a period of disability for the individual's own disability, there shall be no waiting period between the period of the individual's own disability and the period of family temporary disability;

     (b) (1) for more than 26 weeks with respect to any one period of disability of the individual;

     (2)   for more than six weeks with respect to any one period of family temporary disability leave commencing before July 1, 2018 and more than 12 weeks if the period of leave commences on or after July 1, 2018, or more than 42 days with respect to any one period of family temporary disability leave commencing before July 1, 2018 and more than 84 days if the period of leave commences on or after July 1, 2018, in the case of leave taken on an intermittent basis to provide care for a family member of the individual with a serious health condition; and

     (3)   for more than six weeks of family temporary disability leave during any 12-month period commencing before July 1, 2018 and more than 12 weeks for any 12-month period commencing on or after July 1, 2018, or for more than 42 days of family temporary disability leave taken during any 12-month period commencing before July 1, 2018 and more than 84 days if the period of leave commences on or after July 1, 2018, on an intermittent basis to provide care for a family member of the individual with a serious health condition, including family temporary disability leave taken pursuant to R.S.43:21-4(f)(2) while unemployed;

     (c)   for any period of disability which did not commence while the claimant was a covered individual;

     (d)   for any period of disability of a claimant during which the claimant is not under the care of a legally licensed physician, dentist, optometrist, podiatrist, practicing psychologist, advanced practice nurse, certified nurse midwife, or chiropractor, who, when requested by the division, shall certify within the scope of the practitioner's practice, the disability of the claimant, the probable duration thereof, and, where applicable, the medical facts within the practitioner's knowledge or for any period of family temporary disability leave for a serious health condition of a family member of the claimant, during which the family member is not receiving inpatient care in a hospital, hospice, or residential medical care facility or is not subject to continuing medical treatment or continuing supervision by a health care provider, who, when requested by the division, shall certify within the scope of the provider's practice, the serious health condition of the family member, the probable duration thereof, and, where applicable, the medical facts within the provider's knowledge;

     (e)   (Deleted by amendment, P.L.1980, c.90.)

     (f)   for any period of disability due to willfully and intentionally self-inflicted injury, or to injury sustained in the perpetration by the claimant of a crime of the first, second, third, or fourth degree, or for any period during which a covered individual would be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits for gross misconduct under subsection (b) of R.S.43:21-5;

     (g)   for any period during which the claimant performs any work for remuneration or profit;

     (h)   in a weekly amount which together with any remuneration the claimant continues to receive from the employer would exceed regular weekly wages immediately prior to disability;

     (i)    for any period during which a covered individual would be disqualified for unemployment compensation benefits under subsection (d) of R.S.43:21-5, unless the disability commenced prior to such disqualification;

and there shall be no other cause of disqualification or ineligibility to receive disability benefits hereunder except as may be specifically provided in this act.

(cf: P.L.2009, c.114, s.1)

 

     3.    Section 16 of P.L.1948, c.110 (C.43:21-40) is amended to read as follows:

     16.  [With respect to periods of disability commencing on or after July 1, 1961, an individual's weekly benefit amount shall be determined and computed by the division on the same basis as the weekly benefit rate is determined and computed pursuant to subsection (c) of R.S. 43:21-3, except that for] For periods of disability commencing on or after October 1, 1984, an individual's weekly benefit rate shall be two-thirds of his average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of 53% of the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers by employers, as determined under subsection (c) of R.S. 43:21-3, except that, for periods of family temporary disability leave commencing on or after July 1, 2018, an individual's weekly benefit rate shall be 80% of the individual's average weekly wage, subject to a maximum of 53% of the Statewide average weekly remuneration paid to workers by employers; provided, however, that such individual's benefit rate shall be computed to the next lower multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof.  The amount of benefits for each day of disability for which benefits are payable shall be one-seventh of the corresponding weekly benefit amount; provided that the total benefits for a fractional part of a week shall be computed to the next lower multiple of $1.00 if not already a multiple thereof.

(cf: P.L.1984, c.104, s.3)

 

     4.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill increases the weekly amount and duration of family leave insurance (FLI) benefits as follows:

     1.    The weekly amount of FLI benefits is increased from two thirds of a worker's average weekly wage to 80% of that average weekly wage, subject to the maximum of 53% of the Statewide average weekly wage for all workers; and

     2.    The maximum number of weeks of FLI benefits for a period of family temporary disability leave, or for any given 12-month period, is increased from six to twelve weeks.  In cases of intermittent leave, the maximum number is increased from 42 days to 84 days.

     The increases would go into effect on July 1, 2018.  As the cost of FLI benefit is funded exclusively by employee contributions, the bill will not increase contributions paid by employers.  Moreover, because of changes in the method of calculating the rate of employee contributions and the ending of diversions from the temporary disability insurance (TDI) fund, it is estimated that, under this bill, the employee contribution rate for FLI, when added to the rate they pay for TDI, will not exceed the rate that employees paid for TDI alone before the FLI law was enacted in 2008.

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