Am I Entitled To Workers’ Compensation Benefits If I’m Fired After A Work Accident?
Unfortunately, some employers fire injured workers following a work accident. In most situations when an injured worker is fired following a work accident, they are still entitled to workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are some situations when workers’ compensation benefits are denied after an injured worker is fired.
At Skibiel Law, we offer a free initial consultation to discuss job termination and Georgia workers’ compensation benefits. If you have been fired after a work injury, talk to a lawyer today at 770-968-3445 or toll-free at 877-874-6650. With convenient office locations in Jonesboro and Atlanta, our attorneys serve clients in the Metro Atlanta area and throughout Georgia.
When Can Workers’ Compensation Benefits Be Denied?
Being fired does not legally prevent or stop the receipt of workers’ compensation benefits. The reason for the firing and when it occurs are important factors in determining if an injured worker will receive benefits.
Sometimes a firing after a work accident is justified, but many times it is not. A justified firing (for cause) is more likely to result in the denial or suspension of workers’ compensation benefits. Situations when a firing may be justified or for cause following a work accident include:
- A positive drug or alcohol test result shortly after a work accident
- Misuse of company equipment that led to a work injury
- Missing work without a doctor’s excuse
- Arguing with or being disrespectful to your boss or supervisor
- Personal activities or horseplay during work time that led to an injury
- For refusing to perform light duty work approved by the treating physician
When Is Firing Unjustified?
Situations when a firing may not be justified following a work accident include:
- For reporting a work accident
- For filing a workers’ compensation claim
- For refusing to perform work greater than the restrictions assigned by the treating physician
- For hiring a workers’ compensation lawyer
- For missing work with an excuse from the treating physician
If a firing takes place after workers’ compensation benefits are received, it is unlikely that these benefits will be affected. It is more likely that workers’ compensation benefits will be denied if the firing occurs before benefits are received or after income benefits are suspended. A firing will usually affect an injured worker’s entitlement to income more so than medical benefits.