Worried About Losing Your Work Comp Payments?
Some of the most common questions we get are from people who are worried about losing their workers' compensation benefits or who feel they are being forced back to work. These are important topics – work comp benefits are a lifeline, and losing them can mean that bills don't get paid or that there's less food on the table.
Below is some information that we hope helps. If you do think you're being unfairly forced back to work or that your benefits might be terminated, you should contact an experienced work comp attorney. This will give you the best possible chance to protect your legal rights.
Our legal consultations are free and there's no obligation to use our services. Just call 412-394-1000 or fill out the form to the right.
Frequently Asked Questions
- Am I in danger of losing my workers' compensation payments?
- How do I know if a request to end my workers' compensation payments has been filed?
- My employer sent me a petition saying my workers' compensation payments should stop on the day I was examined by my employer's doctor. Will my Pennsylvania workers' compensation payments stop?
- I feel like I'm being forced back to work, but I'm not ready to return. Will I lose my workers' compensation coverage if I refuse to return to work?
- If I'm receiving Pennsylvania workers' compensation payments and my employer offers me a light-duty job, do I have to take it?
You can lose your workers' compensation payments if you:
- Refuse to submit to reasonable medical services
- Refuse to comply with an order to have a medical exam
- Are convicted of a crime and are put in jail
- Fail to complete and return an employee verification form to the workers' compensation insurance company within 30 days
Your lost wage payments can also be stopped:
- By a judge appointed to review the facts of your workers' compensation claim
- If you have fully recovered from your injury and have signed a "Final Receipt" – signing this receipt means you agreed to stop your benefits
- If you are assigned to a modified, or "light duty," position; you may still be able to collect partial disability payments if the job pays less than what you made before your injury
- If you agree to receive a lump sum of money, also known as a "Compromise and Release"
- When you return to work and are making the same, or more than, you made before your injury
- The 500-week period of partial disability is over
- The time you had to collect specific loss payments ends; this time period is set based on the nature of the injury
- If you die from causes not related to your work injury
If you think you're in danger of losing your workers' compensation benefits and you don't already have an attorney, you should contact one right away. We offer a no obligation, free legal consultation.
If a request to terminate your work comp benefits has been filed, you will receive a "Petition to Modify, Suspend, or Terminate." It's important to contact an attorney as soon as you receive this petition. Oftentimes there are strict deadlines to respond, and you should have an attorney inform you of your legal rights and represent you before a judge.
The petition you received is called a "Petition to Terminate Compensation Benefits." Your employer filed the petition because they believe that you have recovered from your injury and can now return to work.
A workers' compensation judge will decide if your payments will stop. Until those hearings take place, you should still receive your workers' compensation benefits and payments. If you've received one of these petitions, we highly recommend you contact an attorney if you believe you're still too injured to work, or if your personal doctor hasn't released you to work.
If you feel that your employer is trying to force you back to work even though the company doctor doesn't think you're ready, chances are that your company will drop the pressure.
However, if the company doctor says you're ready to return but your own doctor disagrees, you can refuse to return to work. Though your employer may file a "Petition to Terminate, Modify, or Suspend Benefits," your payments won't change until a judge reviews your case.
If your own doctor feels you're ready to return to work, but you disagree and refuse to return to your job, be aware that there is a good chance you will lose your workers' compensation coverage.
If one or more of these situations apply to you, it's important that you contact a workers' compensation attorney right away. A lawyer can help you figure out if it's in your best interest to return to work. We can help with a no obligation, free legal consultation. Just fill out the form at the top right of the page.
If your employer can prove that they have a job for you within your medical restrictions, such as a light-duty job, and you choose not to take it, your employer can ask a workers' compensation judge to either modify or terminate your benefits.