You might be considering a job change for various reasons, including a desire for better opportunities or an improved work-life balance. You might even want to leave a toxic work environment. You are not alone in this, as the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics finds that about 389,000 people in California quit their jobs each month.
However, if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you likely wonder how quitting will affect these payments. Therefore, you need to understand California’s rules around workers’ comp to determine how to proceed.
If you quit your job
Quitting your job does not automatically disqualify your right to your existing workers’ comp benefits. However, leaving your position can still impact what you receive going forward.
If you leave voluntarily, an employer might contend that you are no longer eligible for wage replacement benefits. While medical benefits usually continue, payments for a permanent partial disability may stop.
What if you experienced a permanent disability due to a workplace accident, such as the loss of a limb or your mobility? In this instance, you might be able to negotiate a lump sum payment upon quitting. You will have to carefully consider and calculate whether the lump sum will cover your needs because you will not be able to renegotiate terms after an agreement.
If your employer fires you
If your employer fires you while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits, you can usually still continue to receive those benefits. Furthermore, the prohibits an employer from terminating you just because you filed a workers’ comp claim. However, the company might have legitimate reasons to lay you off, including company-wide downsizing.
Also, bear in mind that you can still file a claim for workers’ comp after a company lets you go. Losing your job in such a situation should not affect your ability to receive the benefits you need for medical care and recovery.
You have the right work where you choose, but a job change could affect your workers’ comp benefits. Understanding your rights and individual circumstances can help you decide your next move.