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Being eligible for workers’ compensation in Ohio is tied to your job. You must work in a job category that makes you eligible to receive this benefit if you get hurt while working or doing a work-related activity. Thankfully, most jobs in Ohio are covered by workers’ compensation because most companies are required by state law to purchase workers’ compensation insurance.
However, just because your eligibility for benefits is tied to your job doesn’t mean you are tied to your job. Thankfully, you can be approved for workers’ compensation benefits, begin receiving them, and then quit your job and still receive benefits. But the amount of money you get may change. Here’s what to know about quitting your job while on workers’ compensation.
Workers’ compensation in Ohio is designed to pay not just replacement income for injured workers, but also to provide financial assistance for their medical treatments. If you quit your job and still need medical treatment for your work-related injury, you’ll continue receiving that assistance if you are permanently disabled or until your doctor says you have recovered.
You’re still eligible for medical treatment cost assistance even if you quit your job for a different one. However, your new job needs to be one that doesn’t aggravate the injury you suffered at your last job.
For example, if you hurt your back at your last job, get workers’ compensation, quit, and then start a new manual labor job, it could interfere with your medical treatment benefits. This is because you have a requirement not to do anything that could prolong your need for medical benefits.
Workers’ comp claims in Ohio typically pay injured workers around two-thirds of their wages while they are unable to work. Workers who are temporarily fully disabled by their injuries can quit their jobs and continue receiving wage replacement income, but only up until the point that they are diagnosed as fully recovered from their injuries and cleared to work again.
If you quit your job and get a different, less physically demanding job that pays more than your previous job, your wage replacement benefits will end. If your new job pays less than your previous job, your wage replacement benefits will be reduced based on your new income, and possibly canceled depending on how much your new job pays. A workers’ compensation lawyer may be able to help if you feel that your benefits were canceled too soon.
In most cases, injured workers receiving workers’ compensation benefits should stay with the same employer for as long as possible to avoid potential obstacles with their claims and benefits. However, just because you suffered a work-related injury doesn’t mean your career has to stagnate for months or even years. New opportunities arise, even when you’re injured, and you should be able to take advantage of them.
If you’re offered a higher-paying position that won’t aggravate your injury, it can make sense to quit your job, even if it may put some aspect of your benefits at risk. It’s also common for injured workers to be offered light-duty work by their employers that is a bad fit for their skillsets and strengths. Unfortunately, if your doctor clears you for light-duty work and your employer offers it, you are required to take it. If this happens to you, quitting may be the best move.
Finally, you may no longer feel safe at your job site after a work injury. Going back to work, even after you’ve recovered, may seem daunting and even frightening. Quitting to pursue other work can give you peace of mind and may even save you from future injuries.
At Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy, we believe that workers deserve maximum compensation and benefits when they’re injured on the job. But we also know that getting maximum benefits requires navigating a complex system with many rules, guidelines, and exceptions. Not only is it difficult to get approved for benefits in the first place, but it’s also easy to lose them if you make mistakes along the way.
Our Ohio workers’ compensation attorneys know the ins and outs of the state’s workers’ compensation system, and we can advise you on the steps to take and to avoid from the day you get hurt on the job. Don’t risk a denial or a loss of benefits after being approved. Contact us today for a free consultation to protect your rights to the money you’re owed.
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