Thousands of Iowa workers suffer injuries in workplace accidents every year. Some are able to return to work after taking a day or two off to recover from minor injuries. If you suffer a severe or life-threatening on-the-job injury, you might need to take time off for weeks or, in some cases, might never be able to return to work. You might be wondering whether you can continue to collect workers’ compensation benefits or obtain medical treatment if you quit your job.
When you’ve been injured on the job, it is equally important to report the incident to your employer and to seek medical attention. Both actions create written documentation of the incident that might come in handy down the line if you file a workers’ compensation claim. In certain circumstances, however, the benefits you receive might cease, such as if you decide to quit your job.
Payments might stop but medical treatment won’t
If your doctor says that your injuries have prevented you from going straight back to work, you and your medical team will no doubt devise a recovery plan. At some point, your physician might release you to be able to return to the workplace. In some situations, such as if your recovery is going to last a long time, you might determine that it would be best to resign from your position at work.
It’s important to understand that if you do resign, you will no longer be eligible to collect workers’ compensation benefits to replace lost wages. If your doctor says that you are still in need of medical treatments for your injuries, however, quitting your job will not cause ineligibility to continue receiving medical care regarding your workplace injuries.
How to ensure that you will receive maximum benefits
Every state has its own workers’ compensation laws and guidelines. For instance, one state might limit the amount of time in which you would be able to continue to collect benefits, while another state might not have any time restrictions. In Iowa, if you want to ensure that you’ll receive the maximum amount of benefits allowed under the law, you’ll want to remain employed at the same company until your doctor signs a release form stating that you can return to work.
Even if you know that you plan to eventually quit your job, you are entitled to collect workers’ compensation benefits throughout your entire recovery if you stay on the payroll. Workers’ compensation law can be complex, which is why it is a good idea to speak with someone well-versed in such issues if a complication arises while you’re navigating the system, such as an insurance agency trying to deny your claim.