Requirements for Employers
Employers should browse this page to become familiar with their Workers’ Compensation responsibilities.
New Jersey law requires that all New Jersey employers, not covered by Federal programs, have Workers’ Compensation coverage or be approved for self-insurance. Even out-of-state employers may need Workers’ Compensation coverage if a contract of employment is entered into in New Jersey or if work is performed in New Jersey.
The following employing entities must have Workers' Compensation insurance in effect:
- Corporations: All corporations operating in New Jersey must maintain Workers' Compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance so long as any one or more individuals, including corporate officers, perform services for the corporation for prior, current, or anticipated financial consideration *.
- Partnerships/LLC's: All partnerships and limited liability companies (LLC's) operating in New Jersey must maintain Workers' Compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance so long as any one or more individuals, excluding partners or members of the LLC, perform services for the partnership or LLC, for prior, current, or anticipated financial consideration*.
- Sole Proprietorship: All sole proprietorships operating in New Jersey must maintain Workers' Compensation insurance or be approved for self-insurance so long as any one or more individuals, excluding the principal owner, performs services for the business for prior, current or anticipated financial consideration*.
Note: Governmental agencies are required to provide Workers’ Compensation benefits to their employees but are not required to purchase insurance or receive approval as a self-insurer. They generally either obtain an insurance policy, participate in an insurance pool, or maintain a separate appropriation for Workers’ Compensation.
* Financial consideration means any remuneration for services and includes cash or other remuneration in lieu of cash such as products, services, shares of or options to buy corporate stock, meals or lodging, etc.
Insurance coverage may be obtained in one of two ways:
- By obtaining a Workers’ Compensation Insurance Policy written by a mutual or stock carrier authorized to write insurance in New Jersey. Premiums for such insurance are based on the classification(s) of the work being performed by employees, the claims experience of the employer and the payroll of the employer.
- Through Self-Insurance obtained through application to and approval by the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance. Approval for self-insurance is based upon the financial ability of the employer to meet its obligations under the law and the permanence of the business. The posting of security for such obligations may be required.
A self-insured employer has the option of administering its own Workers’ Compensation claims or contracting with a third-party administrator (TPA) to provide these services. For more information about self-insurance, please refer to N.J.S.A. 34:15-77 of the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation statute or contact the Department of Banking and Insurance at (609) 292-5350 ext. 50099.
You can obtain workers’ compensation insurance coverage from any of the more than 400 private licensed insurance companies authorized to sell workers’ compensation policies in New Jersey. You can purchase a policy directly from an insurance carrier, an insurance agent, or an insurance broker. For further assistance with obtaining coverage, please contact the NJ Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau at:
The consequences for failure to provide Workers’ Compensation coverage can be very significant, even without a work-related injury. Specifically, the law provides that failing to insure is a disorderly persons offense and, if determined to be willful, a crime of the fourth degree. Moreover, penalties for such failure can be assessed up to $5,000 for the first ten days and up to $5,000 for each additional ten-day period of failure to insure thereafter. In the case of a corporation, liability for failure to insure can extend to the corporate officers individually. Penalties assessed for failure to insure are not dischargeable in bankruptcy.
Where a work-related injury or death has occurred, the employer, including individual corporate officers, partners, or members of an LLC, is directly liable for medical expenses, temporary disability, and permanent disability or dependency benefits. In addition to awards for medical expenses and other benefits, New Jersey law also provides for civil penalties against the employer and its officers where failure to insure is determined. Awards and penalties arising from these claims can become liens against the uninsured employer and its officers, which are generally enforceable in the New Jersey Superior Court against any assets belonging to the uninsured employer and its officers.
If you are aware of an uninsured employer, you may provide this information to the Office of Special Compensation Funds via firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing a Report of Non-Compliance form.
You do not need to 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 Office of Special Compensation Funds conducts a cross-match of their database with the Department of Banking and Insurance's Compensation Rating and Inspection Bureau (NJ CRIB) on a regular basis to identify uninsured employers.
When an employer is identified through this cross match as a possibly uninsured employer, a letter and cross-match response form is issued. Mandatory insurance should be immediately obtained if an employer is uninsured and verification of insurance must be provided. Penalties may still be assessed for failure to have insurance at the time of the cross-match.
If you are an employer that has insurance and has received this form, you should provide the information requested about your workers’ compensation coverage as soon as possible to ensure that penalties are not improperly assessed against you.
Questions in relation to the Cross-Match Program can be addressed to:
The law requires every employer to post and maintain in a conspicuous place or places in and about the worksite, a form prescribed by the Commissioner of the Department of Banking and Insurance, stating that the employer has secured Workers’ Compensation insurance coverage or has qualified with the Department of Banking and Insurance as a self-insured employer.
For insured employers, the notice must include the name of the insurance carrier and other items as required by the Department of Banking and Insurance. To obtain copies of this notice, employers should contact their insurer.
Click here to access the Employer Notice of Workers' Compensation Insurance Coverage.
At the time of hire and periodically thereafter, employees should be provided the following information:
- An explanation of their Workers’ Compensation coverage and benefits
- How, when, and to whom to report an injury
- Where to go for medical treatment if injured while working
When an employer receives notice about a work-related accident or occupational exposure, they should notify their insurance carrier or third-party administrator (TPA) immediately so that a First Report of Injury form can be electronically filed with the State of New Jersey.
Within 26 weeks after the worker has reached maximum medical improvement or has returned to work, a second report, called a Subsequent Report of Injury, must be electronically filed with the State.
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In cases of dispute over entitlement to benefits, a worker may file either a formal Claim Petition or an Application for an Informal Hearing with the Division of Workers' Compensation. Issues may include compensability of the claim, the type and extent of medical treatment, and/or the payment of temporary and permanent disability benefits.
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