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.
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From day one, Russell Haugen and Woodruff Johnson & Evans handled the work comp case with empathy and diligence. Highly recommended.

I would definitely recommend Woodruff Johnson & Evans to anyone I know that need legal help with a worker’s comp issue. From day one I’ve felt comfortable and was always kept informed on what was going on with my case. Mr. Haugen was always pleasant and empathetic to my case and worked diligently. I would […]

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Jay Johnson is a good communicator and speaks to his clients in a language they can understand.

Jay always answers or returns my calls promptly. Jay is able to share information about my claim in a non-lawyer kind of way.

Chris J.

Fighting for My Workers Compensation with Attorney Lee Alhambra Gave Me Peace Of Mind And Victory.

I Had A Nasty Tumble/Fall On A Cushioned Mat Behind A Desk At Work. I Had Been Totally Misinformed And Misled By Employers About Making A Full Recovery And Legal Processes. I Did Not Understand Any Legal Issues. I Contacted Woodruff Johnson & Evans And Spoke With Leandro A. Alhambra. Lee Explained To Me How […]

Karen K

Jay Johnson Helped Me Through A Nightmare of a Lawsuit

I just want to thank Woodruff Johnson & Evans Attorney Jay Johnson and his legal secretary, Annie,  for helping me through this whole lawsuit nightmare. I appreciate your time and effort, and YES, I would  highly recommend you to anyone.

Tammy B

It was a pleasure working with Russell Haugen and the legal team at Woodruff Johnson & Evans!

It was a pleasure working with Russ and his team!!! They explained everything thoroughly and helped me with all my needs during this difficult time! I was happy with the outcome, they were a great referral to me and I will gladly refer this office on to others!

Noelia M.

I would like to thank Dexter & the whole Woodruff team on representing me.

Would like to thank Dexter & the whole Woodruff Johnson & Evans legal team for representing me. Dex, I really appreciate you for standing on my behalf with this long journey.

Kennesha W.

Jay Johnson was on top of everything when I had issues, and kept me informed, would recommend!

Jay Johnson was on top of everything when I had issues, and kept me informed, would recommend!

Timothy T

I have complete trust, confidence and satisfaction in Attorney Russell Haugen.

I have been represented by a number of lawyers in the last 3 years with no satisfaction and no confidence. That changed when Russell Haugen took my case. Russell updated me regularly and truthfully worked on my behalf. With Russell’s council, I received a fair settlement for my losses. I have complete trust, confidence and […]

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Lee Alhambra: kind and patient when explaining things, and a calmness that is soothing in stressful situations.

Want to say thank you to Attorney Leandro Alhambra for not just being a good lawyer but for being kind and patient when explaining things. He has calmness that is soothing in stressful situations.

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Lee Alhambra will represent you well and will fight for your case. Highly Recommended.

Very professional, detailed and courteous. My case was handled with ease and I’m very grateful! Woodruff Johnson & Evans Law Offices will represent you well and fight for you. Leandro Alhambra is a lawyer I would highly recommend.

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