If you’re injured on the job in PA, you can claim workers’ compensation benefits. If you’re partially disabled due to the injury, you receive benefits for up to 500 weeks until you can return to your job or your employer finds a different and appropriate position for you. Employers and insurance companies, though, don’t always like paying workers’ compensation benefits. They’re always on the hunt for ways to stop your benefits, and that includes when you retire.
Under PA law, you can receive both Social Security disability and workers’ compensation benefits concurrently. But when you reach 65 years and 10 months old, your Social Security disability benefits become full retirement benefits. It’s at this time that your employer and the insurance company might just reduce your workers’ compensation benefits.
Before you retire, if you receive wage loss benefits, your employer may reduce those payments by half when you start to receive Social Security retirement benefits. But if you’re already receiving retirement benefits at the time of your on-the-job injury, your workers’ compensation benefits aren’t reduced. On the other hand, if you’re receiving your workers’ comp benefits and then start to get a pension, your employer or the insurance provider may reduce the compensation benefits by the amount they paid for their share of your pension.
Workers’ compensation and retirement can be a complex issue. That’s why it’s important to contact an experienced attorney to discuss your retirement and how it could affect your benefits before you hand in your notice.
Under the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Act, disability goes hand in hand with a loss of earnings. So, to claim benefits, you need to have suffered a workplace injury that affects your ability to earn an income.
When that workplace illness or injury forces you out of the job market or into a lower-paying position, your ability to earn an income diminishes. Workers’ compensation fills that gap between earnings before and after the accident.
But when you retire, you remove yourself from the job market – regardless of whether or not you’re disabled. So, you no longer have the capacity to earn an income. That’s why Pennsylvania courts have decided that once an injured worker retires voluntarily, they’re no longer entitled to claim workers’ compensation benefits.
If you’re coming up to retirement age and are worried about losing out on workers’ compensation benefits, it’s worth hiring a lawyer. Employers and their insurance providers will put up any kind of fight they can to avoid paying out benefits. In fact, insurance company advisors make a living finding ways to modify, limit or completely terminate your workers’ comp benefits. Since it’s what they do day in and day out, they know every trick in the book to achieve this goal.
This is why it’s important to work with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney who will help ensure you receive the benefits you’re entitled to. Your attorney can help you file all the necessary forms on time, gather all the information you need for a solid case, and even argue your case for you – whether it’s in front of a judge or the insurance providers.
In Pennsylvania, the amount your workers’ compensation attorney can claim is set by the state’s law or in an agreement between you and your attorney. The whole idea of workers’ compensation laws is that you can hire an attorney to help you, without leaving you out of pocket. We know that retirement and workers’ compensation benefits are a daunting area. Let us help you get the benefits you deserve so that you can retire with peace of mind.
Book a consultation with a workers’ comp attorney at Malamut & Associates, LLC today.