Injured workers protected from bad credit scores under new law

Injured workers protected from bad credit scores under new law

Ron Dancer

TRENTON, N.J. – Under a law signed by the governor today and sponsored by Assemblyman Ron Dancer, medical providers are prohibited from reporting unpaid workers’ compensation charges to collection and credit reporting agencies.

“Workers comp cases can be long and drawn out and medical bills can pile up,” said Dancer (R-Ocean). “When a medical provider reports the outstanding charges to collections or credit reporting agencies, it adds insult to injury for the victim who can’t go to work and the impact can be devastating to their credit.”

Under the law (S3036/A1697), balances due cannot be reported as unpaid until a workers’ compensation judge’s decision is finalized or the claim is settled in court.

“This law will protect workers who have been hurt on the job from financial ruin,” said Dancer, who noted the bill originated from a constituent who came to him about a pending workers’ compensation case. “The first doctor and hospital visit, before the employer accepted the workers’ compensation claim, were financially damaging. After 30 days, they sent the account to collections, crushing his credit score and creating severe financial hardships for the family.”

The law imposes a maximum fine of $5,000 for violations.