Can I Start My Workers’ Compensation Benefits Back Up if I Get Laid Off by My Employer?

The answer depends on the status of your worker’s compensation case. This is not intended to address all possibilities but the most common situations.

  1. If your wage loss benefits are Suspended due to light duty work being made available by your employer.
    • You would be entitled to reinstatement of wage loss benefits, if your wage loss compensation is suspended because you have returned to work in a “modified” or “light” duty capacity and you were earning wages that are equal or greater than when you were injured. The layoff must be at no fault of your own and you are still under work restrictions from your work injury.
    • You have to keep in mind that there is a statute of limitations to reinstate your benefits that is 9.6 years or 500 weeks from the date your benefits were suspended.
    • Your wage loss benefits are considered suspended if you returned to work and you were making greater than or equal to your pay prior to your injury. You may have received a Supplemental Agreement when you returned to work but as long as it doesn’t say “fully recovered” or “terminated” on it or a Work Comp Judge issued an order suspending your wage loss benefits.  If your employer didn’t file any paperwork suspending your wage loss benefits than you are in as lest a good of a position as if the employer properly filed paperwork suspending your wage loss benefits.
  2. Your wage loss and medical benefits were Terminated by a Judge’s Order; You signing a final receipt of compensation; or you signed a termination agreement.
    • You have three (3) years from the date of termination of benefits to file for a reinstatement;
    • You also need to prove that your disability from your work injury has re-occurred; that your present disability is related to your work injury; or if you signed a Final Receipt of Compensation that you were not fully recovered at the time it was signed.
  3. Your Workers’ Compensation Claim is not recognized.
    • This status is very complicated but generally if you have a work injury whether or not you lost time from work that was not accepted by your Employer by a Notice of Compensation Payable you have three (3) years from your date of injury to file a Claim. If you were laid off and you are not fully recovered from your work injury, you may be eligible for total disability benefits as your Employer can’t provide you a job as of the date of the layoff.
  4. You are receiving Partial Disability wage loss benefits.
    • You are working but still receiving a check for wage loss benefits because you are not earning as much as you were prior to your work injury because you have limitations due to that injury. You are entitled to have your total disability benefits reinstated because your employer can’t provide you a job within your restriction due to the layoff.
  5. You are off work receiving total disability benefits and your employer shuts down.
    • You are still going to receive your total disability benefits up to the maximum period of time workers’ compensation allows or unit the Work Comp insurance companies try to change your status.

If you think that you may have a claim for Reinstatement due to a layoff, you should contact Calhoon and Kaminsky P.C., to discuss your rights and review the facts of your case before deciding whether or not to pursue a Reinstatement or Claim for benefits.