Understanding Workers’ Compensation After Job Loss in Atlanta: Cruz & Associates
Losing your job in the midst of a work-related injury can add extra stress on top of an already stressful situation. If this has happened to you, don’t worry. Just because you are no longer employed does not mean you automatically lose your benefits. While navigating workers’ compensation after job loss can be complicated, the skilled attorneys at Cruz & Associates are here to walk you through the process.
Do I Lose Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Job Loss?
No, in most cases, you will not lose workers’ compensation after job loss. If you were injured while performing a task at work, you are still likely entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from that employer. However, the process could be a bit more complex. The attorneys at Cruz & Associates can help you navigate workers’ compensation if you are no longer employed, regardless of your particular situation.
If You Quit
It can get complicated if you’re injured at work, quit your job, and then file for workers’ compensation. You might not have noticed the severity of your injury when it occurred but now genuinely need compensation, but it may look suspicious to the ICA. If possible, you will need some proof of the incident, like first-hand witness accounts or video footage. Most states also have a statute of limitations for up to 30 days in which you can notify your employer of an injury. If you’ve passed this time frame, this could be a barrier as well.
If You Are Fired or Laid Off
It is possible to lose your job while on workers’ compensation for something unrelated to your injury. However, that doesn’t mean your employer is no longer responsible for covering your workers’ compensation. Your benefits should not be affected upon losing your job, unless you have performed an act that justifies loss of benefits, such as failing a drug test.
If You Choose Not to Return to Work
If your doctor has cleared you to return to work but you opt not to do so, this also may be justification for loss of benefits as well as job termination. If you believe you are still physically unfit to perform your job duties, you may file an appeal and have the doctor reconsider.
The Workers’ Compensation Process
Having a legal team on your side as you file a workers’ compensation claim ensures that your process will move efficiently. A claim must be filed within one year of your injury, so don’t hesitate to contact us as soon as possible. The general steps to filing a claim are to first notify your employer of the incident. They will then report the injury to the insurance company as well as the ICA to begin the claims process.
If your injury has resulted in an emergency, visit the doctor immediately. If not, it’s still essential to visit your physician soon after the incident. Your claim likely won’t be considered without a valid doctor’s visit. At the doctor, you can opt to fill out a Worker’s and Physician’s Report of Injury as opposed to an individual Worker’s Report of Injury form. Your doctor will submit this form to the ICA.
After your claims have been filed, you will receive a letter of acknowledgement from the ICA within two weeks. Your employer’s insurance company will then decide whether or not to grant or deny your benefits, which typically takes up to 21 days.
Schedule Your Free Consultation Today
Don’t take this journey alone. The top workers’ compensation attorneys at Cruz & Associates have years of experience helping our clients keep benefits after job loss to help pay for medical bills and cover lost wages. We are proud to serve the Atlanta area with legal representation in English and Spanish.
Your first consultation is always free, so don’t hesitate to get started today. Contact us by filling out our online contact form or calling our Atlanta office.