You have every legal right to resign your position if you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Arkansas. However, doing so will have consequences. Some will be negative and some will be positive. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney dedicated to helping injured workers navigate Arkansas’ workers’ compensation laws. In the following article, the pros and cons of resigning from your job while on workers’ compensation are discussed in more detail.
The Benefits of Workers’ Compensation in Arkansas
Workers’ compensation exists to permit those injured while at work an expedient way to receive financial assistance. Under Arkansas workers’ compensation law, you are entitled to have your medical expenses paid, receive wage benefits, and collect permanent disability if your injury is debilitating.
An injured employee will begin receiving wage benefits after a doctor places them on limited or restricted duty. Depending on the type of injury, a worker will typically receive 2/3 of their salary for a specified number of weeks.
The medical benefits you receive should cover all your medical expenses associated with your injury, including hospital costs, prescriptions, and even parking and mileage required to go to doctor’s appointments. If you were hurt while on the job, you should speak with our Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney to review the full scope of benefits you are entitled to and could receive.
Resigning From Your Job While Receiving Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are injured while employed, you are entitled to receive workers’ compensation benefits. While you are receiving benefits, there is an implied agreement that your employer will keep your job, or a job, available for your while you are either on limited duty or are recouping at home. Likewise, there is an assumption that you will be returning to your job when you are physically capable. However, situations could arise and opportunities could become available, making resigning from your position an enticing option. For instance, if your hours have been reduced, you could find a different position that affords you a better salary.
Workers’ compensation benefits are intended for employees. If you are no longer an employee, then what happens to your benefits? As stated above, two of the primary benefits provided by workers’ compensation in Arkansas are medical benefits and replacement wages. In most cases, your benefits will continue for your medical expenses. However, if you resign from your position, you will likely lose any wage benefits you were receiving.
If you are considering resigning, you should speak with our experienced Arkansas workplace injury attorney to understand the full implications of your decision. There are many specific requirements that you must meet to receive benefits. One of those requirements is that you must be unable to work because of your injury. Your employer’s insurance company is paying financial benefits because your ability to earn a living has been limited due to your injury. If you resign and take another position, then your inability to work will be questioned. In situations where a person leaves a job because they want to take a different or better job, they risk losing all their benefits.
Legal Options if Your Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Benefits Are Cancelled if You Resign
If your employer does terminate your workers’ compensation benefits after you resign, you should contact our Harris, AR workers’ compensation attorney. While you might not be eligible for replacement wage benefits if you voluntarily resign, you should still fight for your medical costs. When an employee is injured on the job and they follow through with all the prescribed medical treatment from an approved doctor, their expenses should still be compensated through their employer’s insurance. If you are receiving medical treatment after a work-related injury, you should keep detailed records of your doctor’s visits, treatments, and any out-of-pocket costs associated with the treatment. You should also have experienced legal representation if you are appealing the termination of your medical benefits.
Not every resignation is voluntary. If you do not want to leave your job but believe your employer is trying to force you to resign in order to terminate your workers’ compensation benefits, you have options.
In Arkansas, an employer is not permitted to fire you or pressure you to resign because you filed a workers’ compensation claim or are receiving benefits. When an employer does this, it is known as retaliation and is illegal. However, if this does occur, an employer will rarely acknowledge the underlying reasons for their actions. Your employer could site valid grounds for terminating your position, such as budget cuts, planned layoffs, or poor performance before the injury occurred.
A company does not have to come out and fire you. In many cases, an employer will purposefully make the work environment so hostile an employer will believe they have no option but to resign. By putting you in a position to resign voluntarily, your employer could decrease the total amount of benefits paid. Proving retaliation is complicated, so it is crucial to have our experienced Arkansas workers’ compensation attorney representing your legal rights.
Call Our Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney for a Free Consultation
Arkansas workers’ compensation law is complicated. If you were injured while on the job, you are entitled to benefits through your employer’s insurance, including compensation for medical treatment and replacement wages. Should you resign from your position while on workers’ compensation, you could lose some of your benefits. However, you still have legal rights. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Fayetteville, AR fall from heights workers’ compensation lawyer committed to helping injured workers protect those rights. Call (479) 316-0438 to schedule a free consultation to discuss how resigning could impact your workers’ compensation benefits.
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