Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Termination

Russ Haugen

Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Termination

Adding Insult to Injury: Getting Hurt Then Getting Fired.

In these difficult and uncertain times this country is facing, many people have lost or are in fear of losing their jobs. Also, as the job market begins to open back up, many people are looking for new and better job opportunities. If you are one of those people and are also currently involved in a workers’ compensation claim, a change in your employment status could raise many questions or concerns.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Termination

If I am terminated from my employment, will I continue to receive workers’ compensation benefits? Must I continue to work for my current employer to continue to get workers’ compensation benefits? If I find a better job opportunity, will I still be entitled to a settlement?
In Illinois, if you sustain a work-related injury, you are entitled to three distinct benefits. Those benefits are: payment of medical expenses, lost wages, and permanent partial disability benefits. If the work injury requires medical treatment, the workers’ compensation insurance carrier is responsible for 100% of the medical expenses related to your work injury. You are not required to pay co-pays, deductibles, or any amount out of your pocket for medical expenses. If the injury requires you to miss work or if your employer is not able to accommodate your light-duty work restrictions, you are entitled to 2/3 of your gross pay. Lastly, once you are done treating and have been released by your treating doctor, you are entitled to a settlement or an award from an Arbitrator for any permanent disability caused by the work injury.
Generally speaking, your entitlement to these benefits is not impacted if you are terminated from your employment or if you decide to seek employment with a different employer. However, as is most often the case with legal rules, there are some exceptions.
If you are terminated from your employment or seek employment elsewhere during the pendency of your workers’ compensation claim, the medical expenses you incur for your work-related injury will still be covered by the insurance company. Additionally, you will still be entitled to a settlement or an award by an Arbitrator even if you are no longer working for the same employer at the time you are released by your doctor.
However, the only benefit that could potentially be impacted is your entitlement to lost wages. If you are terminated from your employment during the pendency of your claim, you will still be entitled to lost wages provided that your doctor has you off work or on light-duty work restrictions. As such, it is very important to continue getting work status notes from your doctor even if you have been terminated. However, if you voluntarily resign or simply don’t show up to work, you may no longer be entitled to lost wages.
Furthermore, if you start working at a new employer while your case is pending, any type of re-injury or aggravation could be deemed a new work accident. Then you may have two different insurance companies pointing the finger at each other which could result in the termination of your benefits. As such, it is imperative that you contact your attorney any time there is a change (or a potential change) in your employment status so that you are provided with the appropriate legal counsel for your unique situation.
On a related note, the Illinois Workers’ Compensation Act does not provide protection for one’s job and an employer may have reasonable grounds to terminate an employee during the pendency of their workers’ compensation claim.  If you are terminated, you will not be awarded any additional benefits (other than those discussed above) under the Act. However, you may have a separate cause of action for Wrongful Termination or Retaliatory Discharge which would have to be pursued in civil court.
Categories:

Got a Settlement Quicker Than I Expected and Better Than I Expected!

My second time with Leandro A. at Woodruff Johnson and Evans. Another great job. Didn’t have to talk with work comp at all this time since I told work comp I don’t trust them after the first occurrence with them. Got a settlement quicker than I expected and better than I expected. Thanks to Leandro […]

Brian M.

Attorney Dexter Evans: Professional, Responsive and Took Care of Business. Highly Recommended. You Will Not Be Disappointed!

Dexter Evans handled my case for a motor vehicle incident. I would like to inform you that he was very professional, responsive, and took care of business. Whenever I had a question they were very quick to respond and handled everything for me. If it wasn’t Dexter then Nicole was right there. I highly recommend […]

Otis S

Go to the Doctor. Do the Tests. Get the Diagnostics. Hire Leandro Alhambra!

Leandro Alhambra took on my workman’s comp case and did a great job getting a good return back. I had him take on the case late (2 years after the incident) and he still was able to provide a good amount of compensation. Advice to anyone reading: go to the doctor, do the tests and […]

Nelson V

Leandro A. Alhambra Fights to Get Every Dollar for his Clients

I used Leandro A. Alhambra for my workmans comp. case. I see in him that he fights to get every dollar for his clients to be satisfied of the outcome.

Daniel H

Their Office Represented Me Very Well

I felt that their office represented me very well with a very difficult people to deal with. The process took a long time but at the end they were able to close the deal. I want to thank you for the support and ability to answer any and all questions I had during this process. […]

DJ

Attorney Leandro “Lee” Alhambra has given me and my family a peace of mind that I am much grateful for.

My experience with Woodruff Johnson & Evans has been a blessing. My attorney Lee has been such a professional but also a friend that has walked me through many of the things that I had no knowledge of or what I should do next. He has given me and my family a peace of mind […]

Michael K.

I just wanted to let you and your office know how pleased I was with your handling of my case!

Dear Russell, I just wanted to let you and your office know how pleased I was with your handling of my case. The promptness in which you handled this matter and the professionalism you showed while doing so was greatly appreciated. Should there arise another time in which I need assistance or should an acquaintance […]

M. Wright

Attorney Dexter Evans Was Always Available to Answer Any Concerns I Had.

D.J. was always available to answer any concerns I had. The entire case was handled professionally. I am completely satisfied with entire staff at Woodruff Johnson & Evans that I encountered.

John N.

Attorney Jay Johnson went above and beyond!

Attorney Jay Johnson went above and beyond. He made everything so easy and was always available for any questions I needed to ask. I highly recommend Woodruff Johnson & Evans!

Chad M.

Attorney Russell Haugen was awesome!

Attorney Russell Haugen was awesome at handling my case and very communicative on a lot of information I needed help with as well. He also took out the time to make sure I was handled with great provision! Thanks

Jashaunti P.
View All Testimonials

Get Your Free Consultation

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.