Injured workers are often worried about being able to receive benefits after they leave the job. In the ever changing business landscape, companies and employees are often changing ownership, jobs, locations, etc… You may have been fired, you may have quit, you may have had to relocate due to some personal reason, or your company may have simply chose to close up shop. What happens now? The short answer is that your benefits will continue whether or not you are still employed or the company no longer exist, with a few caveats. Aren’t there always in the Workers’ Compensation system?
If you are receiving medical benefits from the Workers Compensation carrier, your benefits will continue after you leave the job, for whatever reason. This is true even if you relocate out of state.
In this instance, the carrier will be obligated to authorize physicians in your new locale. This may hold true even if you are moving out of country. There are instances where the insurance company will set up doctors in other countries, or reimburse the claimant for treatment outside of the United States.
What are the caveats? Unfortunately the instances where leaving the company may have an adverse effect on your benefits is when it comes to missed wages. Often, these benefits are the most important. When we are hurt and cannot work, our bills keep coming. What happens if you are receiving indemnity, or missed wage, benefits and you leave the company? That depends on how or why you left the company and what type of wage benefits you are receiving.
The two most common wage benefits are either Temporary Total Disability, where a doctor has you out of work completely, or Temporary Partial Disability, where a doctor has you on light duty with restrictions. If you are on a “No Work” status, then you will keep receiving the TTD benefits until the doctor puts you on a light or full duty status, no matter what the reason is that you no longer work for the employer. However, if you are on a “Light Duty” status it can become a little tricky.
If you are on light duty status, your ongoing eligibility to those benefits may depend on how and why you are no longer working for the employer. If you have work restrictions and they are accommodating, meaning that you are continuing to work within those restrictions, and decide to quit the job, the insurance company will most likely cut off your benefits stating that your voluntarily limiting your own income. What if your working and get fired? No doubt the employer will say that it was for cause giving the insurance company an out for not continuing your benefits. What if I am working within my restrictions and company closes due to outside factors such as new ownership? In this instance, the insurance company may argue that you were let go, along with all employees, due to a unrelated business decision that would have happened whether or not you were injured.
These situations can become extremely complex. We would love to discuss your case and explain all of your options to make sure that the Carrier is providing the correct benefits that you are entitled to under the law. This is why it is important to hire a workers’ compensation attorney who handles these types of situations and knows what your entitled to. If you or someone you know is in this situation, please give us a call at (877) 8174127.