What Happens to Workers’ Comp Benefits if You Lose Your Job?By Kenton Koszdin on January 31, 2022 | In Blogs
It is not unusual for a company to fire or lay off an injured employee who is on workers’ compensation. Medical bills piling up, and the uncertainty of facing a complete loss of income, then looms over the now unemployed individual.
Although it is morally questionable, and against the law, for a company to fire an employee seeking workers’ compensation benefits, such cases do happen.
Here are some common reasons why an employee may lose their job while on workers compensation:
- Economic downturn: where the company is going through financial constraints, which is especially timely considering the pandemic’s impact on businesses.
- Bankruptcy or cost-cutting measures: the employer may be in financial crisis and therefore may not be able to pay for your claim. However, this should not affect your benefits, as the employer’s insurance company is responsible for paying out the benefits.
- Employee attributes: the employee’s behavior may play a role. In the case of an expected firing- due to poor evaluation or disciplinary issues- a person may be fired or laid off even though they sustained a workplace injury.
Here are some important points of which you should be aware:
- Your eligibility for benefits post layoff: The benefits you are supposed to receive or have been receiving from your employer’s worker’s compensation will not stop if you get laid off. They will continue till the time you are supposed to receive them. However, if you were fired for recklessness or other behavioral issues, your benefits may be discontinued.
- Your Job Contract: The kind of contract you have with your employer has reasonable weightage. In some cases, voluntary or ‘At Will’ workers can be fired without cause and notice. Therefore, you can be replaced, or your position eliminated. It is important to go through the contract, especially details related to workers’ compensation benefits, reasons or causes for being fired, and other benefits-related information before signing the contract.
- Fired for Filing for the Claim: As mentioned earlier, it is illegal for a company or employer to fire you based on your workers’ compensation claim. Not only will you be eligible for your workers’ compensation claim, but you can also file a wrongful termination lawsuit.
- Treatment details: Your treatment status and health condition also play a role in the claim process. Benefits will be discontinued if your doctor states that you fully recovered before your termination.
If you have any doubts or questions, it is always beneficial to seek guidance from legal experts who have experience dealing with worker’s compensation cases. Call 800-438-7734 for your initial free consultation held in our office, or from the comfort of your own home. The Kenton Koszdin Law Office, workers’ compensation attorneys in Van Nuys, can help you navigate the application process for the best possible outcome for you and your family.