Will I Lose My Workers’ Comp If I Quit My Job?
You suffered a serious injury at work. In fact, the injury was so bad that you needed extensive medical treatment and rehabilitation. Because of your injury, you could not work, or you could return to work only on a light-duty, restricted basis. Given that experience, few people would blame you if you never wanted to return to that workplace again and looked for a new job.
However, if you did quit your job, what would happen to your workers’ compensation benefits? Could your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer cut them off? Would quitting affect settlement of your claim? The answers to those questions will depend on the specific facts of your case, including the type of workers’ compensation benefits that you receive.
If you get hurt on the job in Miami or anywhere else in Florida, workers’ compensation should cover all necessary medical treatment related to your injury, from emergency care to your ongoing medication and therapy needs. Your right to these benefits is based on the fact that you were hurt while you acted in the course and scope of your employment. You do not lose this right simply because you no longer work for the same employer.
In this sense, quitting your job should have no effect on your medical benefits. Still, you would need to continue to get treatment from a health care provider that your (now former) employer or its insurer has approved.
Lost Wage Benefits
Your main concern about quitting your job may be whether you will lose your right to lost wage, or disability, benefits. After all, you have bills to pay. You may have a spouse and children to support as well. The bottom line is that you cannot afford to miss a paycheck.
As with medical benefits, the right to lost wage benefits springs from the fact that you injured yourself at work – not from your job status. So, in theory, whether you quit or stay at your job should have no effect on them. However, in two situations, an employer or its workers’ compensation insurer may give you trouble if you quit your job.
First, if you receive Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits, and a doctor clears you to return to work at either a light-duty or full-duty capacity, then your employer or its insurer may have a problem if you quit your job. The employer or insurer may argue that you have chosen to decline income that you were healthy enough to earn, so you should not receive benefits.
Second, if you receive Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits, where you work on a light-duty basis, an employer who has provided accommodation to you in the workplace may balk at paying further benefits if you quit. Again, the employer may claim that you have voluntarily passed on income that you could have earned.
Of course, a question may arise as to whether your employer has truly been accommodating. For instance, the employer may force you to do work that causes you great pain or may consistently give you a hard time because you cannot do heavier work. If you quit because your employer has failed to give you suitable duties at work, you may have solid ground to challenge the termination of your lost wage benefits.
Contact a Miami Workers’ Compensation Attorney Right Away
As you can see, the status of your workers’ compensation benefits will depend on your unique circumstances. This is why you should always talk with an experienced Miami workers’ compensation lawyer before you quit your job. Contact Payer & Associates today. We will thoroughly review your case in a free consultation and provide the carefully tailored legal guidance and representation that you deserve.