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Can I Quit My Job if I’m Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?

  • Published: February 1, 2022

Sustaining a workplace injury can be a traumatic experience, physically, emotionally, and financially. Workers need their jobs and their wages to support themselves and their families. When an injury prevents them from working or limits their ability to work, it can have life-altering consequences on the worker’s quality of life, which is why California requires employers to carry workers’ compensation insurance to protect workers. Workers’ compensation allows injured workers to apply for benefits that will help them recover financial compensation for medical treatments, lost wages, and temporary and permanent disability.

Some injured workers wonder if they need to continue their employment while receiving workers’ comp benefits. Workers severely injured in their workplace may understandably feel unsafe and may not want to return to their workplace, even if steps are taken to improve safety standards. Continuing to work in the same environment that resulted in an unpleasant and often painful experience can be difficult even if workers sustain a minor injury or expect a full recovery. However, workers who wish to quit while still receiving workers’ comp benefits should consult an experienced workers’ compensation attorney. While a worker is not forced to remain at their job while receiving workers’ comp, resigning can affect their benefits.

How Are Workers’ Comp Benefits Affected If I Quit?

Workers’ compensation benefits depend on the employment status at the time of the injury, meaning that if a worker wishes to quit, it will not immediately disqualify them from their benefits.  Under California law, an employer must pay for workers’ comp insurance throughout the term of the worker’s employment (as long as they’ve been employed for at least six months). A worker is not forced or required to remain at the workplace where they sustained their injury. However, quitting their job may complicate their eligibility for certain workers’ comp benefits and might make them ineligible for California unemployment benefits.

Medical Benefits

Medical benefits cover the care and treatment you receive for a workplace injury. Generally, medical benefits are still covered in full if a worker quits. However, each injury and workers’ comp claim are unique, and outcomes vary depending on their situation. To ensure you receive full compensation whether you remain at your job or quit, consult with an attorney who understands California’s workers’ comp law.

Temporary Disability Benefits

Temporary disability benefits are designed to supplement an injured worker’s income while they are unable to work or work with restrictions. In some cases, quitting while on workers’ comp may lose you the right to collect temporary disability benefits. Your previous employer can argue that your new employer is responsible for covering your benefits. Quitting your job while receiving workers’ comp complicates your eligibility for temporary disability benefits. Working with a California workers’ comp lawyer can help you make informed decisions about your employment.

Permanent Disability Benefits

Permanent disability benefits are approved after a worker reaches the maximum medical improvement level. The worker’s doctor determines that their workplace injury will not heal any further and determines that the worker is permanently disabled. Quitting your job before reaching maximum medical improvement may reduce your benefits. Typically, it’s best to remain at your job until you have reached maximum medical improvement level to ensure complete compensation.

Partner with KCNS Law Group California Workers’ Comp Lawyers

At KCNS Law Group, we specialize in workers’ compensation claims and provide our clients with strategic and tailored representation to meet our client’s specific needs. We understand that every injury and claim is unique and requires an individualized client-based approach. Our attorneys have dedicated their careers to advocating for the rights of injured workers. If you are considering leaving your job while receiving workers’ comp, we have the experience and resources to help you make the best decision. Schedule a consultation with one of our attorneys by calling our office at (818) 937-9255 or through our contact form.

KCNS Law Group LLP

Our client-based approach is concentrated on our commitment to providing individual and strategic representation tailored to our client’s specific needs.

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