Workers’ compensation is a great way to help you maintain a steady income while you recover from a work injury. However, it is a complicated and strict system, and there are a number of ways you can unknowingly forfeit your benefits. Today, we take a look at five ways people can lose their workers’ compensation benefits, and how to avoid these pitfalls.
Missed a Deadline
As we mentioned above, the workers’ compensation system is complicated and requires you to fill out a number of forms within strict deadlines. You also have to follow up with medical examinations. It can get confusing, but unfortunately an excuse of “I didn’t know I had to do that,” or “I forgot to fill that out” isn’t going to get your benefits reinstated. This is why we always recommend working with a work comp lawyer, because they are well versed in what steps need to be taken.
If the insurance company or your employer finds out you lied about your injury, your benefits will be terminated and you may also face ramifications at your job. Sometimes people will get injured off the clock, then try to pass it off as something that happened on the job. If it comes out that the injury did not occur at work, your benefits will be terminated. It’s unfortunate that the injury happened off the clock, but if you get caught lying you’ve just committed fraud.
Not too long ago Al Sharpton’s daughter got in some hot water after posting a picture of herself hiking up a mountain – even though she was in the process of taking the city of New York to court for $5 million because she claimed to be in debilitating pain from spraining her ankle on a city sidewalk. Be careful what you post on social media, especially if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Anything you post can be used as evidence against you, so take a second to think about how your postings may be construed if your employer or the insurance company saw them.
Do Not Cooperate
The ultimate goal after a work injury is to restore as much function as possible to the injured part of the body. Total Temporary Disability benefits are paid while you recover from your injury, but those payments can be denied if you do not follow through with your approved rehabilitation plan. An insurance company has no problem paying you if you are actively working to get better, but if you refuse to participate or skip medical consultations, the carrier can revoke your benefits.
Return To Work
We’ll end this blog on a happy note. Your workers’ compensation benefits will stop being paid if you return to work at the same pay rate you were receiving at the time of the injury. If you’re back at work and earning the same salary, then there’s no need for you to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you accepted a new position at a lower pay rate as a result of the injury, you’re still entitled to wage loss benefits.
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