Generally, when an employee is injured and files a workers' compensation claim, they will be eligible to receive benefits while recovering from the injury. These benefits can include the following:
- Medical expenses
- Wage replacement payments
- Vocational rehabilitation services
However, these benefits may end early in certain circumstances. This blog post will discuss the specific scenarios under which a workers' compensation claim can end early.
Failure to Follow Doctor's Orders or Undergo Treatment
If injured workers fail to follow their doctor's orders or undergo treatment prescribed by their physician, their workers' compensation benefits may be terminated. For a worker to continue receiving benefits after an injury, they must demonstrate that they are following all medical advice and doing what is necessary for a full recovery.
If a worker does not comply with their doctor's orders, then it could be considered negligent behavior and grounds for terminating the benefit payments or other services provided by the employer's insurer.
Reaching Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)
If an injured worker reaches maximum medical improvement (MMI), it means that they have reached the point where further medical care cannot improve their condition any more than it already has. At this point, an independent medical examiner will review the case and determine whether or not the worker should continue receiving benefits, given their current physical condition and work restrictions imposed upon them due to the injury. If it is determined that continuing benefit payments is unnecessary, then those payments may cease at this time.
Related Reading: "What is Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI)?"
For some who have reached MMI, while their temporary disability benefits will cease, they may be eligible for permanent impairment benefits.
Earning Equal or More Pay than Pre-Injury Wage Upon Return to Work
If an injured worker returns to work and earns equal or more pay than before their injury occurred, their workers' compensation benefits may also be terminated. Once proof of such earnings is provided, the insurance company can halt the weekly benefit payments.
In addition to the above reasons, your workers' compensation benefits may be terminated because:
- You were convicted of a crime and/or imprisoned
- You settled on a lump sum payout with the insurance company
- The time period for collecting benefits has ended
- The 500-week period for partial disability concluded
- You died due to unrelated causes to your work injury
In short, there are several scenarios where a workers' compensation claim may end early even though benefits have already started being paid out on behalf of an injured employee.
Getting Help From an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney
At Rosenberg & Rosenberg, P.A., we understand how difficult it can be to navigate the workers' compensation system to receive the full benefits you may be entitled to. We also know how easy it is for insurance companies and employers to find loopholes to disqualify or terminate a claim early. That's why our experienced attorneys are here to help. We can answer any questions about workers' compensation benefits, eligibility, and how to protect yourself if a claim is terminated early.
Contact us today at (888) 499-6206 for a free consultation regarding your claim.