Getting a severe injury at your job can be a traumatizing experience. Not only could you be permanently disabled for the rest of your life, but you may be unsure about wanting to return to your own job even after you are done healing.
After filing a claim for workers’ compensation, you may be impatiently waiting to return back to your old job or acquiring a new one. Before you think about doing so, you should know about what can happen to your compensation benefits if you choose to leave your old job while on recovery.
Which benefits stay?
Out of the major benefits you can receive from workers’ compensation (medical treatment, wage replacement and disability compensation) the one guaranteed to continue after your resignation is medical treatment. If the doctor believes you still require treatment for your wounds, the insurance company will continue to provide for your recovery.
Your employer will cut your wage replacement benefits since you will no longer be working for them. If you receive any disability benefits from the incident, the compensation hinges on the severity of the disability. If your disability is partial and not permanent, they can choose to end the payment quicker. You also have the option to collect all of your financial needs in one payment with a lump sum judgement before you go.
Are there more options?
Some workers may not get the chance to return to work even if they do not quit. After the doctor informs your employer about how your disability impacts your work and what you need to adjust, your employer may choose to not offer you modified or alternative work. In California, you are potentially eligible for supplemental benefits in the event this happens. This means you can receive a voucher that pays for educational retraining or skill enhancement at state-approved schools to get a job somewhere else. You can also qualify for additional payments from the Return to Work Supplement Program.
You can also file a workers' compensation lawsuit if another employee is responsible for your condition. It is important to consider the circumstances of your injury and disability to see if you are eligible for a potential lawsuit against the company or another worker.