If you’re fired for lying about your work injury, it doesn’t necessarily mean you lose your benefits. Often, they are two separate questions.

First, there are rules about getting fired after a work injury. You can’t be fired because you filed a claim or sought benefits. It’s illegal to fire someone in retaliation for trying to get benefits that they’re legally entitled to under Illinois workers’ compensation law. However, you are not protected from being fired for all of the regular reasons, such as breaking the rules or violating the conditions of your employment.

Second, there is the issue of lying about your injury. It’s never a good idea, but people often do things out of fear or embarrassment, even when they know they shouldn’t. Lying about your work injury can have serious consequences. If you were not injured at work, and you say you were, that is fraud. If you exaggerate your injury, the insurance company can find out and cut off your benefits. However, there was a situation recently where lying about the work injury might not result in loss of benefits.

The worker misrepresented his work accident in the description that he provided to his employer. When the employer found out, he was fired for falsifying records. The question is what will happen to his temporary total disability checks. It’s unclear how the arbitrator will rule, but the key might be whether he would have qualified for workers’ compensation had he not lied. In this case, it looks like he was eligible either way. In other words, even though he lied, it didn’t affect the fact that his work injury claim was legitimate.

The employee probably won’t be able to get his job back. It seems he was fired for a valid reason. However, his benefits should continue. Regardless of the lie, he is still recovering from a serious injury that happened on the job. It’s a unique situation. He should consider himself lucky if he’s able to keep his benefits. Lying about a work injury can cause you lose everything.

We are workers’ compensation attorneys who 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.

By Michael Helfand