The attorneys at Katherman Briggs and Greenberg have decades of experience and can provide you with the workers compensation information that you need. This article is concerning the termination of workers compensation benefits.
- If you die, your wage and medical benefits stop. If your death is related to a work injury, certain survivor benefits may apply.
- If you and your physicians agree that you have fully recovered from your injury, your medical and wage benefits stop.
- If you return to work and earn as much as you did before your injury, your wage loss benefits stop. If you are not fully recovered when you return to work, the insurance company must continue paying your medical bills.
- If you return to work at less income, and are receiving partial disability benefits, those benefits will stop after five hundred (500) weeks or when your income returns to the level of your AWW.
- If a workers’ compensation judge enters an Order suspending your benefits, you wage loss benefits will stop but your medical benefits will continue. If a Workers’ Compensation Judge enters an Order terminating your benefits, your wage loss and medical benefits will stop.
- If you sign documents releasing your employer from further responsibility your benefits will stop.
- For injuries occurring after June 24, 1996, your benefits may end after 604 weeks if you are less than 50% physically impaired.
What to Do Before Your Benefits End
Unfortunately, some injured workers who are unable to return to work or who still need benefits find their benefits reduced or stopped. If this happens to you, it is important to take action as soon as possible. You may not agree with a doctor’s findings that you are ready to return to work, or you may not agree with the evaluation of your injury. There are steps you can take.
In general, you will want to contact a workers’ compensation attorney if your workers’ compensation benefits have been stopped or reduced. The sooner you contact an attorney, the sooner you can start creating a proactive plan to reduce the risk of financial distress. You should contact an attorney if you notice any of these indications that your benefits are about to be reduced or stopped:
- You are considering a lump sum settlement from the insurance company. Once you get a settlement, you will not get monthly benefits.
- You are contacted about an interview with a vocational consultant. A vocational interview is with a consultant who works for the insurance company, and the goal is to show the ways you may be able to work in the general job market. A letter about such an interview shows the insurance company is seeking ways to minimize or stop benefits.
- You are contacted about an independent medical examination (IME) or impairment rating evaluation (IRE). Again, it is in the best interests of the insurance company if these tests show you are not injured or are not seriously injured.
If any of the above apply to you or if it appears your benefits may be ending or may be modified, contact a workers’ compensation attorney.
Important – Never sign any documents or agreements without your workers’ compensation lawyer reviewing them – you may be signing away your right to future wage loss and medical benefits.
Read more about workers’ compensation. Or, schedule a free consultation with an attorney at KBG Injury Law if you have concerns about your benefits.