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Cruz-Perez Bill to Require Additional Data in Temporary Disability and Family Leave Insurance Reports Advances

Nilsa Cruz-Perez

TRENTON – Legislation sponsored by Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez that would require the Commissioner of Labor and Workforce Development to provide additional data in annual temporary disability insurance and family leave insurance reports cleared the Senate today.

“One of the most important roles of government is to provide services to individuals who are in need of them,” said Senator Cruz-Perez (D-Camden/Gloucester).  “We cannot do this when our programs and services are not efficiently coordinated.  This bill aims to remedy the hindrance in efficiency and improve disability and family leave insurance.”

Current law requires the commissioner to issue and make available an annual report of these programs that provides data regarding program usage, claimant demographics, program costs and revenues. It additionally provides a provision granting the commissioner the authority to conduct surveys and other research into the impact and effects of disability benefits.

The bill, S-342, would expand the reporting requirements regarding both usage and demographic data. As the data required in this report is already provided by the employee when applying for benefits, the department would likely not have to change the application form in order to comply with this law.

The bill would expand the data the department must provide to include the number of workers receiving benefits that work full time, part time and belong to a union as well as their occupations and weekly wages.

The department must also include the number of workers claiming intermittent benefits for family temporary disability, the number of workers claiming both temporary disability benefits and family temporary disability benefits in the same calendar year, the number of employers employing each worker in the worker’s base year, and whether the employer is private or a governmental entity.

The bill cleared the Senate with a vote of 26-11.