What Happens to Your Workers’ Comp Benefits if You Lose Your Job
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
If you are injured or contract an illness at work, you will be under considerable pressure from many sources. You may be concerned about your injury, how long it will take to recover, and whether you will be able to resume your old job. In some cases, you might worry whether you’ll have a job to go back to.
You need the guidance of an experienced workers’ compensation attorney at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. We can help you through the complex process of receiving the compensation you deserve and understanding what benefits you’re entitled to if you lose your job.
Filing a Claim
You should always report any accident at work to your employer immediately. It does not matter how trivial it may seem. By law, you must notify your employer within 90 days of suffering the injury. You have two years from the date of injury to file a workers’ compensation claim.
If you apply for workers’ compensation benefits and your claim is denied, despite your eligibility, seek legal advice immediately. Cochran, Kroll & Associates P.C. can communicate with your employer’s insurance company on your behalf.
Wage Loss Benefits
Michigan is a “wage loss compensation” state. The Workers’ Disability Compensation Act entitles you to weekly compensation benefits. To qualify for a workers’ compensation claim, the injury must arise due to your working conditions.
To continue receiving benefits, you must show disability or reduced wage-earning capacity. If you have some wage-earning ability, you must seek work suitable for your restricted working capacity. You may also be required to show that you made attempts to gain post-accident employment.
You may make a claim for partial compensation if you return to work at lower wages due to a disability.
Can You Get Workers’ Comp if You Lose Your Job?
If you lose your job due to time off for injuries sustained at work, you will continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits that you had previously applied for. If your job loss is due to the company going out of business or bankruptcy, your workers’ compensation benefits should remain unaffected if you sustained injuries at work before the layoff.
However, individuals who are fired for cause from their job may lose these benefits. If your doctor deems you fully recovered and ready to return to work before your termination, you will lose your workers’ compensation benefits because they would’ve stopped at that point.
It is illegal for your employer to fire you for filing a workers’ compensation claim. It’s your right to file a claim for these benefits if you are injured or become ill due to working conditions while employed by the company. If your employer terminates your position without cause because you have filed a workers’ comp claim, seek legal representation immediately.
If you retire willingly from the workforce while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, one of two outcomes can occur:
- If you are receiving temporary disability benefits that are paid while recovering from an illness or injury, these benefits are likely to expire when you leave the workforce willingly.
- If your doctor has confirmed you have a permanent disability requiring you to retire from the workforce, you may be eligible to continue receiving your benefits after retirement.
If you begin receiving Social Security benefits upon your retirement, and you qualify to continue receiving workers’ comp, your retirement benefits will likely impact how much you qualify for.
Returning to Work
Your employer is not required to offer you a job when you are ready to return to work following illness or injury. However, many employers do try to offer suitable positions to valued, long-time employees.
The experienced lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. offer compassionate legal counsel, offering a place where you can seek advice under the privilege of an attorney-client relationship.
Call us today if you have questions about your situation or require more information about applying for workers’ compensation benefits. Contact our law firm at 1-866-MICHLAW (866-MICH-LAW) to arrange a no-obligation, free consultation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.