TRENTON – A bill sponsored by Senator Ellen Karcher which would prohibit the payment of temporary disability benefits when disability is incurred as the result of a fourth degree crime or gross misconduct was approved by the Senate Labor Committee by a vote of 3-0.
“The State Disability Fund should not be in the business of subsidizing illegal activities and dangerous misconduct,” said Senator Karcher, D-Monmouth and Mercer. “It should act as a safety net for people who are legitimately injured and cannot work due to their injuries. We need protections in place to ensure that the TDI fund is not plundered by greedy cons looking for a State handout and taking advantage of a worthwhile program.”
Senator Karcher’s bill, S-1923, would amend current law to prohibit the payment of temporary disability benefits to an individual who sustains an injury while committing a crime of the fourth degree or through gross misconduct on the job. Currently, temporary disability benefits are prohibited for injuries incurred while committing a crime of the first through third degree. The bill would take effect immediately, but would not apply to any claim for benefits filed before the effective date of the act.
“Through the law, we’ve already recognized that it’s inappropriate to reward bad behavior through the TDI fund,” said Senator Karcher. “This bill would extend the ban on benefits to cover more criminal activities. We need to protect the integrity of the fund, to ensure that criminals cannot abuse the TDI system in the State of New Jersey.
The bill now heads to the full Senate for consideration. It was unanimously approved by the Assembly in June.