Suffering a workplace injury can be devastating enough. Getting fired while on workers’ compensation can create even more stress and uncertainty. Unfortunately, some employers do terminate injured employees inappropriately.
If you lost your job while receiving workers’ comp benefits, it’s crucial to understand your rights. An experienced attorney can also protect your interests. Let’s discuss the potential impact and steps to take if you are fired while unable to work.
Lost Wages and Medical Benefits
In most cases, getting fired while on workers’ comp means your wage replacement and medical benefits will be terminated. The insurer is no longer obligated to pay these costs once you are no longer an employee.
This shifts the financial burden onto you. Without income benefits, you lose a critical source of income while unable to work and recover. And you may now bear responsibility for all medical costs associated with your work-related condition.
Impact on Your Recovery
Losing your health coverage can severely disrupt your medical treatment and recovery plan. You may no longer be able to afford doctor visits, physical therapy, surgery, prescription medications, or other care recommended by your physician.
A lack of access to treatment can impede your healing and lead to lasting impairment or chronic issues. The termination may force you to make difficult choices about necessary procedures you can no longer afford.
This places your health at risk if you cannot get the treatment your work-related condition warrants within a reasonable timeframe. The gaps in care could also reduce any settlement value down the road.
Eligibility for Other Benefits
Once employment ends, you may need to quickly explore other options for financial assistance and insurance coverage. This could include:
- Applying for unemployment benefits
- Looking into COBRA or private health insurance plans
- Applying for Social Security disability benefits
- Enrolling in Medicaid
- Reaching out to local charities or aid organizations
Navigating these alternative options is complex. Speaking to a legal professional can point you in the right direction. They can also represent your interests in any applications or appeals processes.
Your Legal Rights and Protections
Under workers’ compensation laws, terminations are illegal if they occur solely because you filed a claim or missed time for a work injury. Employers cannot retaliate or discriminate against someone for exercising their right to benefits.
If you were fired under questionable circumstances while on workers’ comp, discuss your situation with a lawyer immediately. An attorney experienced in wrongful termination and employment law can determine if your firing was unlawful.
They may be able to negotiate a severance package or lost wages settlement. If necessary, they can build a case against the employer and represent your interests in court.
Impact on Future Employment
A termination on your employment record could hurt your future job prospects. Being transparent and honest about the circumstances is crucial during interviews.
Highlight your qualifications, performance, and dedication. Explain how you have grown professionally. Make it clear you are ready and able to return to work.
With preparation and effective communication, you can overcome doubts related to your past workers’ comp claim. A lawyer may also be able to seek expungement of the termination from your personnel file if it was illegal.
The stress of losing your livelihood while recovering from an injury or illness cannot be understated. You may feel anxious, overwhelmed and uncertain about the future. Many experience depression being fired under these circumstances.
Pursuing productive outlets like counseling or peer support groups can help safeguard your mental health. Rely on loved ones for encouragement. Focus on controlling only what is within your power for now. With resilience and adaption, you can push forward.
Consult a Workers’ Comp Lawyer
The abrupt loss of a job, income, and benefits while on workers’ comp can significantly set back your recovery and stability. Having strong legal guidance is critical for protecting yourself.
An experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer in Macon, GA will evaluate your termination and advise on any potential wrongful firing claims. They can also help secure alternative benefits and insurance to sustain your household.
If you were fired while on workers’ comp in Macon, GA, contact a dedicated Macon workers’ compensation lawyer, Thomas W. Herman right away. They will fight to uphold your rights and get you back on the path toward physical and financial well-being.
Contact us today for your free initial consultation.