There are many reasons why you may be considering leaving your job while on workers’ compensation. This article will discuss things you should consider before quitting your job while on workers’ compensation. While it may be in your best interest to wait it out at your current job, sometimes that is not an option.

Before making any decisions, we recommend discussing your specific case with your workers’ compensation lawyer to figure out your options and what quitting may mean for your benefits. 

Our award-winning workers’ compensation team offers free consultations to help you understand your options and protect your rights following an on-the-job injury. If you have any questions or would like to speak directly with an attorney, simply call our team today at (803) 888-2200. We’re here to help.

Things To Consider Before Quitting Your Job:

Whether you are unable to return to work in the same capacity due to your injuries, feel uncomfortable at your job, or simply got a new offer you can’t pass up, you may be wondering if quitting your job while on workers’ compensation is okay.

Before quitting your job while on workers’ comp, there are a few things you should consider.

1. Don’t quit your job before having another job lined up.

If you quit your job and do not have another job lined up, then you risk losing your benefits. If you don’t have another opportunity secured, you may want to consider continuing to work for your employer until you’ve recovered and your benefits have ended.

2. Get to Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before leaving.

During your workers’ comp case, your treating doctor will determine when you’ve reached maximum medical improvement (MMI). 

MMI is a doctor’s opinion that you have recovered to your fullest potential. 

Depending on what that looks like, you will receive an impairment rating, which is a percentage of your loss of function due to the injury.

The workers’ compensation system uses your impairment rating to determine your level of disability, impacting the amount of benefits you may be eligible to receive.

If you quit your job before reaching MMI, you risk your temporary benefits stopping.

3. Work with your workers’ compensation lawyer to strategize any job move.

When you quit your job during a workers’ compensation case, your employer will likely try to stop paying your benefits. Your workers’ compensation lawyer will help you understand your options under South Carolina law based on the specifics of your case. Together, you can come up with a game plan on how to best navigate the situation.

How Quitting Your Job May Impact Your Workers’ Comp Benefits

In South Carolina, there are a few different forms of benefits you may be receiving following an on-the-job injury: medical benefits, lost wages, and disability benefits. 

Let’s review these:

Workers’ Compensation Medical Benefits

The South Carolina workers’ compensation system is designed to help injured employees recover medical benefits after an on-the-job injury or illness. This includes benefits covering related costs, such as:

  • Emergency Room Visits
  • Surgery Costs
  • Follow Up Visits
  • Rehabilitation Costs, such as physical therapy
  • PTSD
  • Anxiety
  • Depression
  • And more.

If handled properly, you may still qualify to receive these benefits if you quit your job. 

An experienced lawyer will help you understand how to do this properly to secure your benefits.

Workers’ Compensation Lost Wages Benefits

If you are out of work due to your injuries, you may be receiving Temporary Total Disability (TTD) or Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits.

TTD benefits are paid to injured employees while they are out due to their injuries until they are able to return to work. 

TPD benefits are paid to injured workers who have returned to work on light duty or reduced hours and are making less per week on average than they were making before the injury.

Generally, in South Carolina, these benefits are equal to 66 and ⅔% of the gross income you were earning before your injury, although there are some exceptions to this.

You are at the greatest risk of losing these benefits if you quit your job. These wages are paid until your doctor states that you can go back to work, and if you quit before reaching this point, you may lose these benefits entirely.

Workers’ Comp Disability Benefits 

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) benefits are paid to workers who have been injured on the job and are compensated based upon a percentage of loss of use of a particular body part. This  includes injuries resulting in the loss of a limb, up to 49% of the use of your back, loss of vision in one eye, and more. 

Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) resulting in a partial wage loss are benefits paid to workers who have more than one body part that is injured or affected due to a work-related accident. These benefits can be paid to a worker who may not be able to return to gainful employment making the same amount as before their injury, and are compensated for that future partial wage loss. Although the amount of future wage loss is also reduced down to 66 and ⅔% of the total loss, these benefits sometimes result in an award that is greater than PPD based on the percentage of loss of use of a single or multiple body parts.

Permanent Total Disability (PTD) benefits are paid to injured employees who are not expected to ever be able to work in any capacity again. This includes injuries that resulted in the loss of use of two limbs, loss of life, greater than 50% loss of use of the back, and more.

Generally, you will still receive these benefits even if you quit your job.

Talk to an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today

Deciding whether to quit your job or stick it out during the workers’ compensation process can be a very complicated decision with high stakes. 

The award-winning workers’ compensation lawyers at Cavanaugh & Thickens, LLC have decades of experience handling workers’ compensation cases and help clients navigate decisions like this all the time. We’re here to help. 

Get your free consultation directly with an attorney by calling (803) 888-2200 or submitting our online form. With offices in Columbia and Charleston, we handle work injury cases throughout the state.