Will I Lose My Workers’ Comp Benefits If I Quit My Job?
The good news is that under Pennsylvania law, workers’ compensation claims are based on a person’s employment-related status at the time the injury occurred. This means that quitting your job won’t automatically disqualify someone from benefits. It can, however, complicate matters and could eventually result in the termination of benefits, so if you were hurt at work and have questions about your employment status and its effect on your benefits, you should consider speaking with an experienced Wilkes Barre workers’ compensation attorney before making any important employment decisions.
How Long Will I Receive Benefits?
When an employee is hurt on the job, he or she is usually entitled to benefits, including compensation for medical costs. Generally, employers must keep covering work-related medical treatment until the employee recovers or reaches Maximum Medical Improvement. Similarly, workers who are totally disabled and so unable to work at all can continue to collect workers’ compensation benefits until they recover or are able to return to work. Partial disability benefits should also continue for as long as it takes for a person to recover or secure higher paying work.
While this is all still true for employees who quit their jobs, voluntarily terminating employment can seriously complicate matters and injured workers will probably need to show that they left work because of their injury and not for another reason. Terminating employment can also complicate an employee’s eligibility for unemployment benefits.
Employment Status and Workers’ Comp Benefits
Employees who are hurt on the job in Pennsylvania are usually entitled to three kinds of benefits: medical treatment, wage loss benefits, and disability payments. Some of these benefits continue even if a person no longer works for the same employer. Injured workers who decide to quit their jobs after suffering a totally disabling injury should, for instance, continue to receive both medical benefits and disability payments. Those whose disabilities are only deemed to be partial, however, will usually end up losing their right to wage replacement and may also risk losing medical benefits as well. For this reason, it is often best for employees who suffered non-permanent disability as a result of a work-related injury to stay on the job as long as possible.
There are also some situations where it makes more sense for an injured worker to leave his or her job. In cases where an employer assigns new job duties due to a doctor’s restrictions, but the work is unrewarding and an employee could make more money if working elsewhere, it may make sense for him or her to quit. In these situations, a claimant could still be entitled to coverage of further medical bills, but may lose out on other benefits. Alternatively, an employee may also want to leave because he or she feels unsafe or uncomfortable in the workplace. In these cases, there’s a good chance that a claimant will still be able to retain his or her medical benefits, as well as wage loss benefits, and partial disability payments. The employee will, however, need to provide evidence that he or she left the job with just cause.
Call Our Wilkes Barre Workers’ Compensation Legal Team Today
If you were hurt at work, but are now thinking about quitting, please call the Figured Law Firm at 570-954-9299 to speak with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney about how a change in employment status could impact your benefits.