You may wonder if quitting your job or switching to a new job with a new employer will end your workers’ compensation claim. You should know that a change in your employment status could cause claim benefits to be affected, with previous workers’ compensation payments either lowered or stopped. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney can explain the best way to go about making changes to your employment status, such as quitting a job, while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Can You Quit Your Job While on Workers’ Compensation?
In general, workers’ compensation lost wage benefits are owed when an injured worker is missing time from work due to their workplace injury. When someone voluntarily quits their job, it can mean they no longer meet the legal standards required to be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
The insurance company will likely be successful in arguing that the injured worker is not entitled to lost wage benefits outside of the original employment arrangement. The insurance company will argue that the injured worker is out of work because they quit, not because of their work injury, and therefore, do not need lost wage benefits.
Thus, if an injured worker is struggling to continue to work, it is best to consult with a doctor to determine if they are medically able to continue working. If unable to work, a work excuse should be provided to the employer, rather than a resignation.
What If You Quit to Start a New Job?
Whether you will be entitled to any lost wage benefits is then based on two factors:
- Are you earning less money in the new job?
- Did you switch jobs because a doctor recommended that you change your work due to your work injury?
If the answer to both questions is yes, then you may be entitled to a partial wage loss benefit called a NYS Reduced Earnings Benefit. You will need continuous medical evidence every 90 days and payroll documentation of the reduction in earnings to support this claim.
What If You Switch Jobs or Are Rehired?
If you switch to a job or are rehired in a position where you are earning the same or more than you were earning at the time of your injury, there would be no claim for lost wage benefits at that time as there would be no loss in income.
Maintain Your WC Benefits
Before making any decision to voluntarily change your employment status—quit, switch jobs, or retire—it is best to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about your specific situation. If you have questions, contact Lewis & Lewis, P.C. today.