Workers’ compensation is designed to get workers the medical care and wage coverage they need while they recover from short-term or long-term injuries. Since the system is designed to get you back to work and back into the workforce, you may jeopardize your benefits if you quit your job or resign while drawing workers’ comp. benefits. Talk to a Fayetteville AR workers’ comp lawyer today if you are considering claiming workers’ comp. or quitting your job while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, is a Fayetteville Workers’ Compensation lawyer offering free consultations on these kinds of cases.
Can I Still Get Workers’ Comp. if I Quit My Job?
While receiving Workers’ Compensation, there is an expectation that you will return to the workforce. Unless your injury is permanent and would keep you from ever returning to work, you and your employer typically assume that you will be able to go back to work after you are healed and ready. People who quit their job because of the injury may have a more complicated case.
When you file a workers’ comp. claim, your employer is expected to keep you as an employee and continue to pay you bi-weekly wages (at a reduced rate) while you recover. This does not mean that they cannot fill your position or hire a temp, but when you are healed and ready to return to your job, they must have a position for you or else they face monetary consequences.
There is somewhat of an equal expectation that goes the other way, and you are expected to return to your job after your injury is healed. If you decide to quit your job after facing an injury, your workers’ comp. claim and benefits could be affected.
If your injury is overwhelming and you quit your job before claiming workers’ comp. benefits, you may have a hard time filing for Workers’ Compensation claim. If you were covered under workers’ comp. when the injury occurred, you may still be able to claim benefits after you quit – but proving the injury occurred before you quit might be difficult.
If you quit after filing your claim, you may be in a legal grey area. While workers’ comp. benefits are intended only for employees, you were an employee when you filed and should still be entitled to some benefits. Generally speaking, workers’ comp. will often pay for your medical expenses even if you quit after beginning to receive benefits. However, any benefits paid as replacement wages might be cancelled, since you no longer work for that employer.
In any case where you quit your job because your employer forced you to resign or pressured you to quit instead of claiming workers’ comp., you may be able to sue for discrimination or Workers’ Compensation retaliation.
Before making any decisions to quit your job, return to work, or take another job while receiving Workers’ Compensation, you should speak with an attorney for guidance.
Does Quitting My Job Terminate Workers’ Compensation Benefits?
Leaving your job may be grounds for canceling your workers’ comp. benefits. If you were injured on the job and filed your claim before quitting, you may still be entitled to your medical benefits, but you might lose your wage-loss benefits. However, employers and Workers’ Compensation insurers may have a problem with paying benefits to someone who doesn’t work for them, and they may look for excuses to terminate workers’ comp. benefits.
Workers’ comp. benefits can be terminated for a number of reasons. Injured workers may not be satisfied with the benefits they receive for a workplace injury and may seek out additional payments or work while receiving benefits. If your employer catches you performing another job or violating the terms of your Workers’ Compensation plan, your benefits could be cut-off.
One of the necessary requirements for workers’ comp. is that you are unable to work. If you actually perform another job, you may call your inability to work into question and disqualify yourself for benefits. Similarly, trying to claim unemployment benefits could disqualify you for workers’ comp. Since unemployment requires you to be willing and able to work, claiming unemployment and workers’ comp. at the same time is incompatible, and your employer might terminate your workers’ comp. payments if you apply for unemployment.
You should always speak with a Huntsville workers’ compensation lawyer about the specifics of your case. In many cases, you may be able to leave your job and take another job with modified work tasks or less physical demands to help support your family while you receive medical benefits through Workers’ Compensation.
Receiving a lump-sum settlement for workers’ comp. may also be beneficial in cases where you want to quit or take another job. Getting medical benefits up front may ensure you have your health care covered while you begin working at your new job. Talk to a lawyer to discuss the options in your case.
Fayetteville, Arkansas Workers’ Comp. Lawyer Offering Free Consultations
If you or a loved one was injured at work, talk to an attorney before quitting your job. You may be entitled to file for workers’ comp., which can continue to cover your medical expenses and lost wages as long as you keep your job. Never make a decision about your Workers’ Compensation coverage before speaking to a Fayetteville workers’ comp. lawyer. Ken Kieklak, Attorney at Law, offers free consultations to help injured workers and their families plan their benefits.