What happens if I quit my job while I'm receiving Florida workers' compensation benefits?

injured_and_off_workMany employees consider leaving their jobs after a work injury. Since workers' compensation is provided through an employer, voluntarily leaving a place of employment while still receiving compensation can affect your right to collect
some kinds of benefits.

How Leaving Employment Affects Your Florida Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Workers' compensation coverage provides many different kinds of benefits to an injured employee, including medical treatment, wage loss payments, and disability compensation. The good news is that quitting a job doesn't affect your right to receive continued medical care under workers' compensation. Payments for treatment of your injury under workers' compensation should continue whether you are unemployed, move to another job, or even relocate to another state.

However, you may see a change in your eligibility depending on which benefits you receive, including:

  • Wage benefits. Employees are entitled to wage replacement while they recover from their injuries and are temporarily unable to work. If a doctor places work restrictions on an injured individual, he or she is eligible for these "lost time" payments. If you quit your job, your employer may claim you are "voluntarily" limiting your income, disqualifying you from wage replacement benefits. For this same reason, quitting your job can complicate any claim you make for unemployment benefits.
  • Temporary partial disability benefits. If you were able to return to work in a different capacity, or your employer made accommodations that allowed you to work, you can receive temporary partial disability to make up for the difference in your wages. However, if you quit the job, you lose the right to receive these payments.
  • Permanent disability benefits. If your injury permanently prevents you from doing the job you used to do, you may continue to receive disability payments for as long as your doctor issues work restrictions. If you quit while receiving these benefits and the employer stops payment, you may be entitled to a permanent disability settlement.

In most cases, employees should always wait until they've reached maximum medical improvement before quitting. Once you know the permanent effects of your injuries, you can begin to calculate your losses to obtain a fair workers' compensation settlement.

Want to know more? Simply fill out the quick contact form on this page today to schedule a no-cost consultation with our work injury attorneys.