Workers' Compensation Benefits: Possible Circumstances After You File

6 March 2015
 Categories: Law, Blog

When you file for workers' compensation benefits, you are afforded certain protections. If your employer violates your rights, your workers' compensation attorney can take legal action and help you get compensation for the wrong you have suffered. There are two particular instances in which you might need your attorney to take action on your behalf after you have filed for benefits. 

Laid Off/Termination

Your employer is prohibited by state and federal laws from taking retaliatory action against you. This basically means that your employer cannot lay off, terminate, or take any other derogatory action against you because you filed for workers' compensation benefits. 

If you feel that your employer has take a retaliatory action against you, it is important you understand there are some special circumstances that could have a bearing on whether or not you have any legal options available. 

For instance, if you were laid off or terminated after filing for benefits, your employer might not necessarily be in danger of facing legal consequences. If your employer can prove that you were laid off or terminated for reasons, such as poor performance, then there is no legal recourse available to you. 

However, if you think that your employer has unfairly targeted you after filing, talk to your workers' compensation attorney. He or she can review the details of the action taken by your employer and decide what the best legal action to take is. 

Light Duty Work Offer

There is a good chance that your employer will offer you light duty work after you have filed your claim. Whether or not you decide to take the offer is up to you. However, your actions could have a bearing on whether you receive all or part of your benefits owed. 

Your state's laws dictate whether or not turning down the offer of light duty impacts your claim. For instance, in California, you could lose the right to funds for job training if you are unable to return to your former position. You could also forfeit your right to have a vocation counselor help you find work in a new position. 

If you are uncertain about how turning down light duty work from your employer can impact your benefits, talk to your attorney. Do not make a decision regarding the offer until you have thoroughly reviewed your options. 

Workers' compensation benefits can be complex, but fortunately, your attorney can help you understand the ins and outs of it. Always consult with your attorney before making decisions to avoid jeopardizing your benefits.