If you have previously filed a workers’ compensation claim and are dissatisfied with the jobs you have been given since returning to work, or if you have simply found a better job elsewhere, you may be concerned that if you quit your job, you will lose your workers’ compensation benefits.
Rest assured, you do not lose your workers’ compensation benefits simply because you quit your job. However, there are some things you should be concerned about.
Quitting Your Job Will Not Affect Your Medical, Permanent Partial, or Permanent Total Benefits
Workers’ compensation benefits in New Jersey do not automatically end if you stop working for your employer. Your benefits can continue past quitting your job. You can continue to receive medical treatment and have your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance pay for it, even though you know longer work for them. Also, you will still be entitled to receive Permanent Partial Benefits to compensate you for any permanent bodily impairment, as well as, Permanent Total Benefits if you are eventually unable to return to any type of gainful employment.
How Quitting Your Job May Affect Your Temporary Total Benefits
On the other hand, after you quit your job, you may find it more difficult to receive Temporary Total Benefits to replace your lost wages. This is primarily because, in order to continue to receive wage replacement benefits after you quit your job, you will have to prove that you were unable to find employment elsewhere that could pay you what you made before. Also, when you go to fight for those benefits, your employer will most likely claim to have work available for you that you simply won’t do for reasons other than your injury.
Furthermore, your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance company may argue that the reason you need those benefits is because you are out of work due to an injury sustained doing something else, such as working at a new job. In most cases, this will mean that a judge will have to decide if your employer is responsible, or if you have a new job, which employer is responsible––your current employer or your previous employer. But, while this is being decided, you may be without wages or wage replacement benefits for several months or longer, which can be very difficult for you and your family.
To conclude, if you have a workers’ compensation case against your employer and you are thinking about quitting your job, either because you are frustrated and/or unable to do the job that your employer has for you, you should first consider whether you will still be entitled to future wage replacement benefits and how difficult it will be to fight for those benefits after you quit.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
If you have any other questions about leaving your job during a workers’ compensation case or if you just want to talk to an attorney about your workers’ compensation case in general, contact an experienced New Jersey workers compensation attorney for a free consultation.