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Getting injured on the job might affect how you feel about doing that job. But if you decide to quit, will you lose your workers' comp benefits?
Obtaining workers' compensation benefits for a work-related injury is generally based on whether the injury occurred while you were working, and not on whether you are still working for the same employer. But filing a claim after you quit could complicate matters.
State employment laws can vary, but most states require every business to carry some form of workers' compensation insurance to cover employees' work-related injuries. The general rule is that employees are entitled to workers' comp if they prove that their injury is work-related.
Your employer should have been paying into a workers' comp system, so if you were employed at the time you are entitled to benefits, even if you quit later. There are, however, a few exceptions that could affect the amount of workers' comp benefits you can receive if you quit after a workers' comp claim.
The Possible Exceptions
If you quit before filing your workers comp claim, you could face more scrutiny. While the legitimacy of the claim ultimately rests on the timing of the injury, if you file a workers' comp claim after you quit, your employer and the insurance company may think you are just trying to get another form of unemployment (which isn't available to workers who resign voluntarily). Also, there are time limits for filing a workers' comp claim, so those may come into play.
Also, there are different types of workers' compensation benefits, and whether you quit may affect the amount to which you are entitled. Workers' comp covers medical care, compensation for permanent injuries, and lost wages. But proving you're entitled to lost wages could be more difficult if you voluntarily forego those wages.
The laws regulating workers' compensation insurance can be complicated and can vary depending on where you live. If you're having trouble recovering workers' comp for your injury, having an experienced workers' compensation attorney on your side may help.