Many injured workers receiving Kentucky workers’ compensation benefits feel as if they are in a state of limbo. They are following their doctors’ orders and doing everything they can to recover so they’ll be declared fit for a job that they know they can no longer handle. Yet they are afraid that if they quit their employment, it will jeopardize their workers’ comp benefits.
If you are entitled to workers’ comp for a workplace injury or illness, your change in job status does not change that eligibility for medical care. You may quit your job if necessary. You should still have access to medical care through workers’ comp benefits if the doctor determines you need treatment. Having said that, it’s a good idea to consult with a knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney about your options before handing in your notice. A conversation with an attorney can help you understand your rights and avoid unexpected issues.
In Kentucky, contact an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer from Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer for a free consultation. We can explain your rights and work to protect them if you have a disputed claim. We’ll give you the Kentucky Courage you need.
Working While Receiving KY Workers’ Comp
In many workers’ comp cases, an injured worker recovers enough to return to light duty, but still needs additional medical treatment, such as rehab, for a full recovery. Under Kentucky workers’ comp rules, the employer can assign the worker to light duty at a lower rate of pay, which reduces the employee’s wage replacement benefits.
Leaving a job voluntarily can cause issues for a pending workers’ compensation claim. Any employer or insurance administrator may argue that the employer should not have legal responsibility for someone who no longer works for the company and has no intention of doing so again. After all, the point of workers’ compensation is to assist employees financially as they work to regain their health and resume their job duties.
You can expect wage replacement benefits to be terminated if you quit your job. If the employer is not obligated to pay you wages, then it stands to reason that the employer does not have to pay wage replacement benefits. In some cases, if your new job pays less than even the light-duty work offered by your old employer, an experienced workers’ comp attorney could help you recover some benefit to make up the difference.
Your ongoing medical needs should still be covered under your workers’ comp claim even if you quit your job. If your employer is disputing your right to workers’ compensation benefits, seek the sound guidance of our Kentucky workers’ compensation attorneys at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer.
Keeping Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits After Quitting a Job
Kentucky workers’ compensation law requires most employers to carry workers’ comp insurance and pay for reasonable and necessary medical care required to recover from an injury suffered on the job.
As long as the employee is seeing the assigned doctor and following doctor’s orders, all medical expenses should be fully covered. This includes all costs pertaining to the workplace accident, such as prescriptions, travel to medical appointments, diagnostic tests, and medical procedures.
If you resign from your job in the middle of your medical treatment paid by workers’ compensation, you should still receive medical benefits as long as the doctor determines you still need treatment. Medical benefits are “portable.” But temporary and permanent disability benefits to replace lost wages will be adversely affected.
There are strategies to consider prior to quitting your employment. In some situations, it may be beneficial to seek a lump-sum settlement of your workers’ compensation claim. This would be negotiated based on a percentage of your permanent partial disability (PPD). Your employer might even be agreeable to the idea of writing one check and being done with it.
It’s helpful to consult with an experienced Kentucky workers’ comp lawyer to discuss your options and whether seeking a lump sum settlement may be appropriate in your case. After determining the best approach, your attorney may be able to negotiate with the workers’ compensation benefits administrator on your behalf.
In the best-case scenario, an injured employee should reach “maximum medical improvement” from the workplace injury and be released from a doctor’s care before leaving a job. That way, all medical expenses should have been billed.
Secondly, you should not quit your job if you do not have another one lined up or have another source of income to sustain you.
Third, to reiterate, your disability/wage replacement benefits will cease as soon as you quit your job. For additional information, please see an overview of Kentucky workers’ compensation law.
Contact a Lexington, KY, Workers’ Comp Attorney Today
If you have been seriously injured on the job, your future may depend on the workers’ compensation benefits you receive. They may affect your quality of life for years to come. Never accept an employer’s denial or discontinuation of your worker’s compensation benefits as the final decision without having a qualified workers’ comp lawyer review your right to benefits.
If we believe you have a valid claim, our experienced workers’ comp attorneys will fight for your rights as if you’re a member of our family. We’ll focus on the maximum amount of benefits available under the law. You have rights under Kentucky workers’ compensation law, including the right to quit your job and still receive medical benefits.
Don’t take on your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company by yourself. Contact us now to schedule your free consultation at one of seven locations across Kentucky.
Contact a workers’ compensation lawyer at Morgan, Collins, Yeast & Salyer in Kentucky for help right away.