Office of Special Compensation Funds
Overview of the Office of Special Compensation Funds
Uninsured Employer's Fund
Second Injury Funds
Frequently Asked Questions
- enforces the law that requires employers to secure the necessary insurance coverage from commercial carriers or through self-insurance programs.
- provides temporary disability benefits and medical expenses to workers suffering from compensable injuries while working for uninsured employers
- provides benefit payments to workers who are already partially disabled who subsequently experience a work related injury which together, render them totally disabled.
Melpomene Kotsines, Acting Administrator
Office of Special Compensation Funds (OSCF)
P.O. Box 399, Trenton, NJ 08625-0399
(609) 292-0165, FAX (609) 633-7783
Uninsured Employer's Fund:
The Uninsured Employer's Fund (UEF) was established within the NJ Workers' Compensation Law to provide for temporary disability benefits and medical expenses to workers suffering from compensable injuries while working for employers who fail to provide the required workers' compensation insurance coverage and who fail to make such benefit payments as awarded by the Division of Workers' Compensation. Check out the insurance page in our web site for detailed information on insurance requirements in New Jersey. WC Insurance
The process by which the UEF gets involved in a workers' compensation case is with the filing of a formal claim petition. If no insurance carrier or indication of approved self insurance is indicated on the Claim Petition, a search is requested through the Compensation Rating & Inspection Bureau to determine the insurance status of the employer.
If no insurance is found to be in place for the employer, the case is scheduled to be heard in a selected court vicinage and an attorney representing the Uninsured Employer's Fund is assigned. If the employer is found to have failed in providing the required insurance coverage and will not or cannot make the ordered payments to the injured worker, the employer is penalized for non-compliance and the Order of the Judge of Compensation is docketed in the Superior Court against the employer.
Upon application by the worker's attorney, the Uninsured Employers Fund makes payment of all temporary disability and reasonable and customary medical expenses included in the Judge's Order.
Uninsured Employer's Fund Informational Package
Failure to carry workers' compensation insurance or to have an approved self-insured status is a disorderly persons offense and possibly a criminal offense in New Jersey. The Division is actively involved in identifying non-compliant employers as well as levying and collecting penalties and restitution once such employers are identified. Check out the insurance page in our web site for detailed information on insurance requirements in New Jersey. WC Insurance
Many recent initiatives strengthened our effort to reduce the number of uninsured employers operating in New Jersey. As a result of the passage of Assembly Bill 1136, all employers in NJ are now required to submit proof of workers' compensation insurance in a form that is suitable for cross-checking with other state databases. This legislation was designed to identify non-compliant uninsured employers before a workplace accident occurs. In 1997, staff from the Uninsured Employer's Fund (UEF) have been working on conforming the data in cooperation with the Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau and the Division of UI/DI Finance to identify employers who are uninsured and in violation of the law.
Sanctions for uninsured employers are severe, ranging from prosecution as a strict liability disorderly person's offense to a fourth degree criminal offense. Cases of willful failure to comply with the law are routinely forwarded to the Attorney General for action.
In addition to criminal sanctions there are civil fines and penalties. Uninsured employers, upon identification, can be assessed penalties of up to $5,000 for the first ten days of non-compliance in addition to up to $5,000 for every ten day period thereafter.
*** If you are aware of an uninsured employer, you may provide this information to the Office of Special Compensation Funds by e-mail , by writing to the address noted at the bottom of this page or by completing aReport of Non-Compliance form. You need not identify yourself but you should be prepared to provide the name and exact address of the employer and, if possible, the names of the principle operators of the business.
The Second Injury Fund was created in 1923 for the purpose of making benefit payments to workers already partially disabled who subsequently experience a work related injury which together, render them totally disabled. The concept behind the Second Injury Fund was to encourage employers to hire disabled workers by limiting, in the case of further injury, their liability for compensation payments to amounts only applicable to the latest injury. Payments from the SIF commence at the conclusion of the payment of benefits from the employer or the insurance carrier and continue until the death of the beneficiary or gainful employment.
Second Injury Fund- A Beneficiary's Guide: This brochure provides information to recipients of second injury fund benefits.
Second Injury Fund Verified Petition:
Due to amendments to the Workers' Compensation Law in 1980, provisions were made for cost of living increases for totally and permanently disabled workers, dependents of deceased workers and Second Injury Fund beneficiaries whose date of injury or, as the case may be, death, occurred prior to January 1, 1980. Prior to these amendments, a beneficiary remained at the fixed awarded weekly benefit rate permanently. In 1980, for example, there were a large number of workers and dependents receiving as little as $25 to $40 per week, the maximum amount that could have been awarded to them during the 1950's and the 1960's.
The NJ Workers' Compensation Law also has a provision whereby it is unlawful for any employer to discharge or otherwise discriminate against an employee because the employee claimed or attempted to claim workers' compensation benefits or because the employee testified or is about to testify in a workers' compensation matter.
As the primary remedy is reinstatement to employment, it is necessary that the complainant is ready, willing and able to perform the duties of such employment. The employee may seek either civil or administrative courses to effect remedies for such discrimination. Where the civil course is selected by the employee, a complaint against the employer would be filed by the employee against the employer in the Civil Part of the Superior Court. Where the administrative course is selected by the employee, the Office of Special Compensation Funds is responsible for investigating such claims.
If the employer's actions are not believed to be based upon the efforts of an employee to secure workers' compensation benefits for themselves or others, but because of the disabling condition, the employee would not have a claim for discrimination in workers' compensation, they may have a claim for violation of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Information concerning the ADA or the filing of complaints under the act may be obtained by writing or calling the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission at 1801 L. Street. NW., Washington, D.C. 20507, (202) 663-4900; Fax (202) 663-4912.
If you would like to file a discrimination complaint through the administrative course of action as mentioned above, you can obtain a copy of the filing form by calling (609) 292-6022 or you can download the form here.
Discrimination Complaint Form: