What is Oscar and How Can it Help me?


The New Jersey Division of Workers' Compensation created OSCAR in 2007. It is a PC-based software package addressing the most common date and arithmetic functions that arise during the course of a workers' compensation case. OSCAR is only available via download. However, it was announced on February 26, that a redesigned program should make OSCAR web based.

OSCAR can help attorneys, adjusters and insureds when calculating awards along with the explanation of the calculations. The courts have made it clear that if there is a conflict in calculations, OSCAR is the required choice. OSCAR has made the confusing and often frustrating use of the back of the schedule of disabilities chart irrelevant. It does the hard work for you by calculating awards taking into account capped rates, Abdullah credits, Re-opener Credits and Dollar Credits. It can help you calculate dates, Section 40 liens, interest, Social Security offsets and Supplemental benefits. Just one caveat, OSCAR is only as good as the information you enter. When entering the information, it is important to make sure the information is accurate (i.e. the AWW, date of disability, social security ACE information, etc.).

The below photo is the OSCAR front page. As you can see, there are tabs I discussed. Simply click on the tab you would like to use and you are directed to input the requested information.

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Here is an example of how OSCAR calculates an award taking into account a capped rate. Simply click the down arrow to the correct year and enter the wages. You are then presented with Percent of Disability along with the number of weeks, the rate the award is paid and the value of the award.

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Another example of how OSCAR makes calculations easier is when you are stacking injuries. As noted in the photo below, OSCAR gives you the overall Partial Total Award. It then tell you the number of weeks, the rate you would pay the award and the total amount of the award.

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The last example below is for an award where you have an Abdullah credit. You first enter all the items on the Case Data tab. You then click the Abdullah Credit tab and enter the percentage of the credit. The result is the Overall Award, then the Abdullah Credit being detailed with the last information being the Net Compensation broken down into the number of weeks, the amount paid per week and the overall award. This example is also helpful in showing how OSCAR's math sometimes doesn't add up. In the below 136.23 weeks at $393 per week is $53,538.39, not $53,538.00. The reason is that the number of weeks should be 136.229, but OSCAR rounded up. While OSCAR is always right, the math doesn't always make sense. Each Judge has a different opinion. Some would make the award read $53,538.39, while some leave it alone and have the carrier pay the award noting the last week would $.39 less.

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By: Jennifer Laver

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