Being out of work due to an on-the-job injury is scary enough, but if you're relying on your workers' compensation benefits to pay the bills and provide your much-needed medical care, finding out that your company is closing is downright terrifying. What happens to your workers' comp benefits once the company folds?
Payments to injured workers should continue.
Workers' comp benefits aren't usually paid for by your company. Instead, it's likely that your company paid insurance premiums to a private insurer that was part of your state's workers' comp system. That means that even if your company goes bankrupt and closes the doors, your payments will continue. Similarly, if workers' comp is paying for your medical care or rehabilitation, that would also continue.
In some rare situations, a business will be self-insured for worker's comp. If so, your payments will be taken over by the Self-Insurers' Security Fund in your state. However, you want to contact a workers' compensation attorney immediately in order to make sure that your claim is transferred and paid.
There are some potential complications for newer claims.
A worker who was just recently injured may experience the most complications from a situation like this. If your claim is still in the preliminary stages, it could become difficult for the insurance company to gather the evidence needed to approve your claim. It may be more difficult for them to get interviews from witnesses and supervisors. Records of safety inspections or other important paperwork (like your claim) may get misplaced or lost. There's no HR department to contact when the insurer has questions and no easy way to get wage records from your company.
If your case seems to be lagging for no apparent reason, ask an attorney to check into the issue and see if the shutdown has affected the insurer's ability to get the documentation needed to pay the claim. Your attorney may have to push the issue a little and help track down the necessary evidence.
Workers who are released from medical care with restrictions may have unexpected benefits.
One surprising twist on the situation applies only if you're released from medical care but have work restrictions. Ordinarily, you'd return to work with accommodations made by your employer. Without a job to return to, you may be able to continue collecting benefits while you search for a new position that fits your limitations. If your limitations force you into a line of work that pays significantly less than your old position at the company, you may be entitled to a payment to compensate you for the difference.
If your company is about to shut down or has already done so, don't panic. Contact a workers' compensation attorney today for assistance so that you case continues to operate smoothly and you can receive the benefits you deserve. For more information, visit a website like http://www.lovettlaw.com/.