A reader asked us this question recently, wanting to know what happens to his workers’ compensation benefits if he quits his job. That’s a great question, and even better that he asked the question first, before quitting the job. Timing is everything in life, so it’s great to first consider the consequences of the timing of leaving your job while your workers’ compensation case is still ongoing.
The bottom line is that if you leave, some things may change and some remain the same. It depends on the type of benefit you’re receiving, and what kind of claim you have.
Medical benefits are not affected by your employment status. Those payments are reimbursement for the medical care that you needed in order to recover from your injury. So whether you’re working or not, or for whom you’re working, it won’t affect your right to medical coverage.
Similarly, if your injury is permanent and keeps you from working at all, then even if you quit your job you are entitled to the benefits for that loss. Also, if your injury is permanent and you are entitled to permanent partial disability benefits (PPD), you will still receive those benefits at the end of your case, once it is determined the amount you have been reduced in your ability to work.
Some other benefits, though can be affected by your leaving your job. While you are recovering from your injury, if you are not able to perform your original job, and have been given medical restrictions, you could receive temporary total disability benefits (TTD). These benefits include compensation for lost wages because you are not able to work up to your full capacity.
But if you leave your job during this period that you could receive TTD, you could lose or hinder those benefits. If your employer is able to find work for you that accommodates your medical restrictions, but you are not working there anymore, there’s a good argument for the employer not being responsible for those payments.
Also, in general, when if you’re looking at a settlement for your case, you can affect the value of what you could get for your claim by not working. In the case of a larger injury, the amount lost could be substantial.
Though you won’t completely lose your right to workers’ compensation benefits if you leave your job, it is best to hang in there if you can, until we can fully evaluate the details of your case.
We are workers' compensation attorneys that help people with Illinois work injuries anywhere in IL via our statewide network of attorneys. Contact us and we will answer your questions or find the right lawyer for your situation.