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Why You Should NEVER Quit Your Job While You’re on Workers’ Comp

Navigating a workplace accident, the consequences of it, and how to get compensated for a work-related injury is a complex process. People injured at work will almost certainly be entitled to paid recovery time and some degree of compensation for their loss of function and quality of life due to their injury.

To maximize their benefits, injured workers are often advised to keep their jobs, even if their place of work becomes combative or stressful following an injury.

Why should you never quit your job while on workers’ comp?

Workers’ Comp and Remaining Employed

The primary reason workers should not quit their job while still receiving workers’ comp benefits is because doing so could put their benefits at risk. Ideally, this would not occur. Where and how a worker is employed should not affect a workers’ comp claim that has already been finalized and agreed to.

But an injured worker’s employer is ultimately paying an insurance company that is, in turn, disbursing workers’ comp payments to cover damages, lost hours, or a change in a worker’s pay. If the injured worker quits, the employer may attempt to use that as an excuse to cancel any remaining workers’ comp payments they owe.

Two Scenarios Where Quitting Would be a Poor Decision

Below are two examples where an employer could try to find a legal basis for canceling workers’ comp payments as a result of a worker quitting their job:

  • Let’s say an injured worker has been cleared by their doctor to return to work with physical restrictions. To accommodate the injured worker’s physical limitations, their employer may offer the worker a “light duty” job. Assuming the offered light duty job complies with the treating doctor’s restrictions for the worker, the light duty job could serve as a legal basis for terminating workers’ comp disability benefits. However, many employers, particularly small businesses, are not in a position to offer light duty employment. If this occurs, the employee may quit so they can find an employer that offers light duty work. But if they do, their previous employer may suddenly claim that they do have light duty work available, giving them an argument to cut off benefits. The key point is that the worker’s decision to quit could incentivize the employer to use that action as grounds for ceasing workers’ comp payments.
  • In another scenario, when a worker is injured so badly they feel they will never be able to find a job, they should continue their current job, even if they feel pressured to quit. If the worker feels they will never be able to work again, quitting their job could lead to a similar response from their employer as in the above example. If they quit their job before their workers’ comp claim is settled, their employer will likely insist that they allegedly “Could have found a position to accommodate our employee’s restrictions.” In honesty, such a claim is often patently untrue and is just a claim the employer will make to devalue the workers’ comp claim of a disabled or injured employee.

To be safe, an injured worker who is either receiving workers’ compensation benefits or is in the process of filing for workers’ comp should not quit their job unless they are advised to do so by an expert workers’ comp attorney.

Seek Free Legal Advice from NRS Injury Law

The key to a successful workers’ compensation claim or disability claim is to proceed with caution and to make informed decisions when navigating the process. NRS Injury Law is the largest workers’ compensation law firm in Ohio and the leading injury law firm in the state. A complement of NRS workers’ comp lawyers are standing by to help. For a free consultation, call 855.468.4878, or fill out this convenient online contact form.

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