Harrisburg Retirement Issues Lawyer
Suffering an on the job injury or illness shortly before retirement may seem like an easy issue for your employer to resolve, by simply paying wage replacement benefits for a short period of time before you retire, but there can be complicated issues that may even jeopardize your financial stability right when you need it the most. Unfortunately, many injured workers see their injury or illness as a reason to take an early retirement, not wanting to go through the hassle of filing a workers’ compensation claim. But even if you are less than a year from your planned retirement date, retiring early instead of filing a workers’ compensation claim could cost you thousands, if not tens of thousands of dollars. Here at the law offices of Ira H. Weinstock, P.C., our Harrisburg retirement issues lawyers can advise you on which path to take, and ensure that you do not lose out on the chance of covered medical benefits and wage replacement compensation.
Why You Should File a Workers’ Compensation Claim at Once
- Workers’ compensation benefits cover full medical treatment (and ongoing treatment) of your injury or illness;
- Financial benefits include wage replacement of up to two-thirds of your average weekly wages; and
- You can technically remain employed while you are injured, which can help get you to the required number of years to meet your maximum pension or Social Security retirement funds.
It should be noted that workers’ compensation benefits can be deducted from your Social Security benefits, according to the SSA. If you are receiving SSA benefits and workers’ comp, your total earnings cannot exceed 80 percent of your average weekly wages before injury.
If you are classified as temporarily disabled, it is likely in your best interest to refrain from taking an early retirement. If you decide to retire while on temporary disability compensation, your employer can terminate your wage replacement benefits. Often, an employee is placed on temporary disability benefits for a period of time, during which their recovery is documented by doctors, before they are placed on permanent disability. If you are in this phase, it is heavily suggested that you refrain from retirement at this time.
After you have undergone a functional capacity evaluation (FCE), and you are classified as permanently disabled (either partially or totally), then you may begin the process of retirement without worrying about losing your wage replacement benefits.
While it is against the law to fire an employee for simply filing a workers’ compensation claim, your employer does have the right to terminate you if you get injured. Involuntary retirement, or forced retirement, occurs when your employer decides to terminate you based on your injury or illness. If this is happening to you, or has already happened, your employer cannot simply take away your workers’ compensation benefits. You are entitled to these benefits whether you are employed by your employer or not.
Call Our Harrisburg Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
There is much to consider if you were recently injured on the job close to your retirement date. While it may seem like the easiest option to simply retire early, we encourage you to first speak with a lawyer. Call a Harrisburg workers’ comp attorney at Ira H. Weinstock, P.C. today at 717-238-1657 to schedule a free consultation.