We often get questions such as, “Will I still get my workers’ compensation benefits if I lose my job?” and, “Will I lose my job if I file for workers’ compensation?”
It’s a complicated topic, but the short answer to the first question is yes: You can still receive your workers’ compensation benefits even if you lose your job. But if your employer fires or demotes you as a result of being out on a workers’ comp claim, they’re in violation of the law.
Can You Be Fired While on Workers’ Comp?
There’s no workers’ compensation law that protects your employment status. If you’re laid off or fired while on workers’ compensation, your employer will need to show why they fired or furloughed you. They’ll also be required to prove the action was unrelated to your claim.
The reason you can be laid off or fired even while on workers’ compensation is that employers generally have the right to terminate employment for any reason — sometimes for no reason. Reasons for losing your job while on workers’ compensation include:
- Company financial problems unrelated to your work performance
- Company restructuring
- Your position has been eliminated for unrelated reasons
- Poor or insufficient past job performance
What Happens to Your Workers’ Comp Benefits if You Lose Your Job?
It’s understandable to assume you have extra job protections because of your work-related injury. However, legally, that’s not the case.
The good news is you’re protected in a significant way. If you lose your job while on workers’ comp, the benefits are designed to continue, even when you can’t continue working. Since your injury occurred while you were working, you should still be covered until you recover. If you return to your job but are under work restrictions, your benefits should stay the same, even after a layoff.
There are some instances where you might face loss of benefits — for example, if your company didn’t remain current on their workers’ compensation insurance policy payments and allowed coverage to lapse. But you would still be able to pursue other avenues of compensation.
What Should You Do If You’ve Been Fired While on Workers’ Comp?
Unfortunately, some employers might feel more inclined, consciously or subconsciously, to let you go because of your workers’ compensation claim. If you suspect that might be the case, the first thing to do is call a workers’ compensation attorney to learn what rights you have.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Peters Law Firm understand a work injury is stressful in many ways. Along with the pain and costs of any injuries, you’re likely also worried about losing your job. If you lose your job after you’ve filed a workers’ compensation claim and suspect you were let go because of the claim, contact our firm as soon as possible for a free consultation.
We have years of experience assisting injured workers in their workers’ comp claims. We can help you build a strong case and ensure you not only get the compensation you’re entitled to but are also protected throughout the claims process.