A question we receive quite often is whether or not you can leave your current job if you’ve recently filed a workers’ compensation claim, or are already receiving benefits. They mention that they no longer feel safe in that role anymore and others say that their dream job opened up. Everyone’s reasons are their own, just like each workers’ comp claim is unique. But quitting or resigning can have similar consequences across the board.
Wage Replacement and Medical Benefits May Stop
Georgia law requires employers to provide workers’ comp insurance to their employees, and if you voluntarily leave their employment that would disqualify you for their benefits. The payments that totaled two thirds of your weekly salary, or a max of $625, will be discontinued. And just by putting in your two weeks notice, your employer can end your benefits before you leave work. That could mean the end of your reimbursements for medical care costs.
Even if you want to make a career change, wait until you’re healthy
If you truly want to leave for another position, it’s in your best interests to wait until you’re absolutely healed from the injury. Even if you’re close to perfect, you’ll be responsible for medical costs that pile up during your lapse in coverage. And until a doctor has weighed in with their professional opinion and given you the green light to work, you’re at risk of relapsing or making the injury worse.
If you aggravate the injury before it’s fully healed or before you were cleared to work, then you could be left without any benefits at all. Especially if you minimized the impact or extent of your injuries to your new employer. They have the option of ending your employment entirely for misrepresenting your condition, and for not being able to properly carry out your duties. It’s easier to avoid situations like that by waiting until you’re healed before switching careers.
Considering Leaving Your Job While on Workers’ Comp?
If you’re considering leaving your job, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney about your best path forward before you inform your employer of anything. Don’t put yourself at risk of losing your medical and wage replacement benefits by making an uninformed decision. Our attorneys will examine the details of your claim and offer you advice on what your best path forward could be.