Can You Start a New Job While on Workers’ Compensation?
It’s not uncommon for employees to consider new career opportunities after a work related injury. They might not feel safe in their current position anymore or they might get a better job offer from another company. Whatever the reasoning, some of our clients ask us about resigning or starting a new job while they’re on workers’ compensation and how it will affect their benefits. The answer isn’t always straightforward and it really depends on each individual’s own situation. If you have questions about workers’ comp and your future, you should reach out to Buzzell, Welsh & Hill to schedule a consultation.
Wage & Medical Benefits May Stop
In Georgia, the law requires employers to provide workers’ comp insurance to their employees only. So, if you start a new job, they’re not legally obligated to continue giving you wage replacement or medical benefits. Starting when you put in your two weeks’ notice, your employer can end your weekly payments or your reimbursements for medical care costs. Depending on the nature and severity of your injury, the employer’s insurance company might still be required to pay for medical expenses.
You Should Wait Until You’re Healthy Before Changing Careers
Even if your heart is set on starting a new job opportunity, you should wait until your injury is perfectly healed before leaving. If your former employer’s insurance company isn’t required to pay for coverage after you terminate your connection with them, then you’ll be on the hook for medical costs in between jobs. You should also seek a doctor’s opinion on when you’ll be physically fit to work again.
Reinjuring yourself because you rushed back to work not only impacts your health, but can make getting approved for workers’ compensation difficult. Aggravating the injury before it’s fully healed or before a doctor has cleared you to work could leave you without any benefits at all. If you hid your injury or the extent of the situation they can terminate your employment for misrepresenting your condition.
Considering Leaving Your Job While on Workers’ Comp?
If you’re considering leaving your job, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about your best path forward before you inform your employer of anything. Don’t put yourself at risk of losing your medical and wage replacement benefits by making an uninformed decision. Our attorneys will examine the details of your claim and offer you advice on what your best path forward could be.
Contact an Experienced Accident Attorney at Buzzell, Welsh & Hill
If you or someone you love was injured on the job and is considering a career change, we can help answer your questions. At Buzzell, Welsh & Hill, our team has the experience and knowledge necessary to set you on the best course possible. Contact us today at (478) 217-2072 for a free case consultation.