Reopening a Workers’ Comp Claim – Steps & Benefits

Reopening a Workers' Comp Claim - Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen - The People First Lawyers

New Jersey Workers’ Compensation laws provide a way for employees who suffer an injury or illness due to their job to receive financial benefits and medical care. But what happens if your condition unexpectedly worsens after you resolve your claim in Court? What happens if your workers’ comp claim is closed but you’re still in pain?

In some cases, reopening a workers’ comp claim can allow individuals to receive additional benefits related to their disability such as medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent disability payments.

This article will discuss the conditions under which reopening a workers’ comp claim may be possible, the types of benefits available through reopening the claim, and steps for those interested in reopening their case.

Workers’ Comp Reopeners: Overview

By the time your initial workers’ comp claim is resolved, your medical condition should stabilize to the point that you may have a better understanding of the extent to which it is impacting your life. These impacts could be anything from ongoing pain or limitations to needing further medical treatment.

Reopening a workers’ comp claim can be an effective way for individuals to receive additional benefits related to their disability. If these kinds of circumstances change filing an Application for Review and Modification of your prior claim may be a viable option for you, depending on how you resolved your claim in the first place.

When can a workers’ comp claim be reopened?

Generally, workers’ compensation claims can be reopened if the injured person has suffered a worsening of their condition since the original settlement was made. However, to establish a worsening of your condition, evidence will be required to be presented to the Court to prove your disability is more severe than  it was at the time that you originally resolved your claim.

There are very strict time limitation to reopening a workers’ comp claim in New Jersey. Generally speaking, if you do not file your formal Application for Review and Modification within 2 year from the last payment a benefits (medical treatment or disability award), you may be forever precluded from re-opening your claim. It’s best to discuss your eligibility for reopening your workers’ comp claim with a workers’ comp attorney. An experienced expert can help you determine if reopening is a viable option and the best course of action for your particular situation.

What kinds of benefits are available when reopening a workers’ comp claim?

The types of benefits associated with a workers’ comp reopener don’t usually vary all that much from the initial claim. The value of the benefits, however, can change drastically.

Typically, workers’ compensation reopeners may provide additional benefits such as medical treatment coverage, lost wages reimbursement, or disability payments if the injured person is unable to perform their job due to their injury.

It is important to check with an experienced New Jersey Worker’s Compensation Attorney for a complete list of available benefits in your specific situation.

How to Reopen Your Workers’ Comp Claim

If you’re working with a workers’ compensation attorney, they can help guide you through the following process of filing your claim reopener:

Reopening a Workers' Comp Claim - Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen - The People First Lawyers
  1. Checking your initial workers’ compensation claim resolution to ensure your eligibility to file a claim reopener and for any deadlines that may apply
  2. Obtaining a new medical report from a licensed doctor that documents any worsening of your condition since the original settlement was made
  3. Filing a workers’ compensation claim reopener with the New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Court.

An experienced attorney will be familiar with the laws and regulations surrounding workers’ compensation and can assist in obtaining the necessary medical report, filing the paperwork correctly with the Court, and helping to navigate  if your claim reopener is denied. They can also provide advice on what benefits may be available in your particular case and represent you in court..

Filing an Application for Review and Modification with the New Jersey Division of Workers’s Compensation involves the management of many significant and nuanced legal issues.  It is best handled by an expert attorney, and preferably one who is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney. 

What Resources Are Available for Workers’ Compensation Reopeners?

When reopening a workers’ compensation case, it is important to take the time to research your options and seek advice from those who have knowledge of the New Jersey laws and regulations related to workers’ compensation. We have extensive information that you can review to help you decide how to proceed with reopening your case.

Reaggravating an Old Workers’ Comp Injury

When reaggravating an old injury, people often think to reopen their past workers’ comp claim. However, if you suffer a NEW accident or injury at work that affects the same body part injured in your prior claim, you should consider filing a new claim for Workers’ Compensation benefits.  Working with an attorney who is who is Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney can work with you to help establish the causal relationship between the new accident and the old aggravation of the prior injury.

Having a workers’ comp case closed does not necessarily mean that you have to live with the pain and suffering associated with an injury forever. If you’re still in pain or have suffered a worsening of your condition, reopening a workers’ comp claim may be an option worth considering. Talk to your workers’ compensation attorney to determine if reopening a workers’ comp claim is a viable option for you.

Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen - The People First Lawyers

Reopening a Workers’ Comp Claim: Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Lawyers

Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen – The People First Lawyers have been helping injured workers with their New Jersey workers’ comp reopener claims since 1995. We work tirelessly for our clients to ensure you receive medical care, financial compensation, and justice, regardless of an adjuster or insurance carrier’s claim denials. With four Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Law attorneys on our team, we are well-equipped to handle your work injury or illness claim.

If you’re thinking about reopening a workers’ comp claim, if your job has caused you ongoing physical pain in any way, or if you’re looking for help with how to maximize your workers’ comp settlement, contact our law firm to schedule a free consultation or call us 24/7 at (856) 751-7676.


Adam Kotlar, Esq.

Adam Kotlar is an aggressive and diligent trial attorney and the founder of Kotlar, Hernandez & Cohen. He is one of only four attorneys in the state of New Jersey to be Certified by the Supreme Court of New Jersey as both a Civil Trial and a Workers’ Compensation Law Attorney among other accolades.

Read more about Adam here.

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