Michigan lawyer answers the question: Can you quit your job while on workers’ comp?
We understand the stress and worry that goes along with a workers’ comp claim. It is not easy supporting a family on disability benefits. Employers also force people back to work in jobs that are demeaning. It can be a real challenge balancing medical appointments and a work schedule. Many of our clients want to know if they can quit their jobs and move on with their lives. Can you quit your job while on workers’ comp? The answer is ‘yes,’ but there are some big consequences.
Wage loss benefits under workers’ comp when you quit the job
Michigan law protects employees hurt on-the-job. It pays disability benefits equal to 80% of an employee’s after-tax average weekly wage. Overtime, discontinued fringe benefits, and even second jobs are factored into this calculation. The money paid is income tax free and continues for the entire length of disability.
Employers have the right to offer light duty instead of paying wage loss benefits. These jobs must be within an employee’s restrictions and be a reasonable distance from their home. Failure to accept light duty will result in a forfeiture of disability benefits.
Our experience shows that employers play games so that people quit. We have seen employees who are told to do nothing more than stare at an empty parking lot. Unfortunately, this is a valid job offer. Can you quit your job while on workers’ comp? Yes, but an employee will be considered to have voluntarily given up his or her wage loss benefits.
Situations get even worse when an employer does not offer light duty. Even if there is no job available, quitting can be used as a defense to paying future wage loss benefits. The employer will say a job would have been offered but the employee voluntarily removed himself or herself from the work force. It is important to speak with an experienced lawyer before quitting or taking other employment action.
Employees who are hurt on-the-job are also entitled to medical care. This includes all reasonable and necessary medical treatment. There should never be any copayments or deductibles owed. Employees can select their own doctor after 28 days from the start of medical care.
Can you quit your job while on workers’ comp and still get medical treatment? The answer is 100% yes! Many of our clients find new jobs and really don’t care about losing wage loss benefits. But medical treatment is needed for life and they don’t want to give it up. Don’t let the employer or its insurance company refuse to cover medical bills just because you quit the job. Call an experienced lawyer if this should occur.
Settlement is a good option for many people who have a claim. It allows them to trade wage loss and medical benefits for a lump sum cash payment. This money can be used for any purpose including medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, starting a business, or paying off debt.
The amount of money paid is going to depend upon how much the insurance company thinks it will have to pay in future benefits. Can you quit your job while on workers’ comp? Sure, but it could reduce any settlement paid because wage loss benefits are no longer owed. We recommend trying to settle a case before leaving employment.
Our law firm never charges a fee to evaluate a potential case. Our law firm has represented injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 35 years. Call (844) 316-8033 for a free consultation today.