When Does Workers' Compensation Stop Paying?
If you were injured on the job and are unable to continue working as a result of that injury, you may be receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Like many people, you may depend upon those benefits to replace the wages that you would otherwise have earned. If you find yourself in this situation, you may wonder how long those payments will last – and that’s an important question to ask. Knowing and understanding the limits of workers’ compensation benefits can help you to plan for your financial future.
DIFFERENT RULES FOR DIFFERENT TYPES OF BENEFITS
It's important to realize that in many states there are a variety of workers' compensation benefits available – benefits for temporary disability, and benefits for permanent disability. Generally, if you are considered to have a permanent partial or permanent total disability, benefits will continue until you reach retirement age, at which time you are usually eligible to receive Social Security retirement benefits. Certainly, there are exceptions to this rule. You may, for example, enter into a settlement for a higher amount in a lump sum right away, in exchange for waiving your right to ongoing payments.
In other circumstances, however, your disability may be only temporary and may end when your condition improves, or when you return to work. Some of these scenarios that may result in payments being stopped include:
- Returning to work: Generally, when you return to work, any temporary total disability benefits you were receiving will stop. This is usually true regardless of whether you return to the company you previously worked at, or if you begin work with a new employer.
If you return to work, it is important to be certain that the insurer paying your benefits is notified that you have done so. If you continue to receive temporary total disability benefits after a return to work, you should talk to your attorney regarding whether or not the continued receipt of benefits is appropriate. There may be penalties for continuing to receive benefits that you are no longer entitled to, and you don't want to find yourself in that difficult situation.
- A doctor releases you to return to work without restrictions: Often, if a doctor releases you to return to work without restrictions, this may be another reason for an insurer to stop your workers’ compensation payments. If you find yourself in this situation, it is essential to realize that this is true regardless of whether or not you actually do choose to return to work. If a doctor has determined that you are well enough to do so, this is often considered a sufficient reason for payments to stop.
- You have reached the legal maximum time limit for receiving benefits: In most states, there is a statutory limit – essentially a maximum amount of time – for which workers’ compensation benefits are paid. In some states it is 400 weeks, in others, it may be more or less, depending upon the particular state laws. Regardless, when you have reached this time limit, insurers can generally stop paying benefits.
As with any legal matter, there may be exceptions to these rules and various circumstances that make matters more complex. As a result, it’s always essential to find a knowledgeable and experienced team of workers’ compensation attorneys who can advise you as to your particular situation, and pursue the best legal strategies on your behalf. At Roden Law, we’re here to do exactly that.
RODEN LAW – YOUR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION ATTORNEYS
If you sustained an injury while at work, you deserve to focus on healing and moving forward. Your time and energy should be devoted to treating your injury, healing, and enjoying life to the fullest extent possible with those you love. You don’t need to spend your time worrying about complex legal matters, or feeling stressed and anxious about how you will pursue the compensation you need.
Instead of worrying, you can leave those matters to the talented and experienced team of workers’ compensation lawyers at Roden Law. We understand every aspect of the workers’ compensation process, and we’re here to help. If you’re ready to get started, give us a call. We look forward to speaking with you soon.