Can I Retire While on Workers' Comp? - What Indiana Employees Need to Know
Employees who have sustained a work-related injury may consider retiring once their financial needs are taken care of, especially if they require a long recovery time or life-long treatment.
Retirement can bring many benefits to injured workers, including less physical work and more rest time to heal. However, before jumping at this opportunity, injured employees must consider different aspects.
Can employees retire while collecting workers' comp benefits? Here's more information to help Indiana employees make sound decisions about their cases. Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys can also answer questions such as, "Can a job fire you while on workers comp?"
What Indiana Employees Need to Know About Retiring While on Workers' Compensation
Retiring while receiving workers' comp benefits sounds tempting. However, an injured worker should speak with an experienced attorney first.
In addition, it is important to consider the following:
Workers' Compensation Benefits
In Indiana, most employees who were injured on the job are entitled to multiple benefits under the state's workers' compensation laws.
Workers' compensation payments often include the following:
Medical expenses benefits
Wage replacement benefits
Temporary Disability vs. Permanent Disability
Whether a person can retire while on workers' compensation depends on the severity of the injuries. It may also vary if the injured employee is getting temporary or permanent disability benefits.
Temporary Disability Benefits
According to workers' compensation laws, temporary disability is when an employee is unable to return to work in the same capacity for a specific period due to their work-related injury.
In these cases, injured workers get temporary disability benefits while they recover from their injuries. Workers' compensation covers medical treatment to support the employee's recovery, so they can return to work as before.
When an injured worker is receiving temporary disability benefits, this status is supposed to end at some point in the future. Therefore, they will likely lose workers' comp benefits if they retire.
Permanent Disability Benefits
Also, there's another major category: permanent disability. These benefits are awarded when the medical team determines that an injured employee will never be able to work as they once did due to their work-related injury.
Depending on the circumstances surrounding the case, employees who receive permanent disability claims may continue to get workers' comp cash even after they retire.
Voluntary vs. Involuntary Retirement
Ideally, injured workers should wait until they have recovered and learned if they have any permanent disability before retiring.
When the employee can do the same job or modified work that accommodates their restrictions, retiring will be voluntary, and workers' comp benefits are likely to end.
However, some employees may build a strong case to show that their workplace injuries led to retirement if the employer cannot offer work within their restrictions or they cannot find a similar job elsewhere.
In most cases involving involuntary retirement, workers' compensation benefits continue, but injured workers should speak with a seasoned attorney before making this important decision.
Can Indiana Workers Collect Retirement and Social Security Disability Benefits at the Same Time?
Essentially, it isn't possible. An employee's status can fall into the following categories:
Not disabled and not retired
Disabled and not retired
Qualified individuals can receive Social Security Disability benefits before reaching their full retirement age.
Based on the Social Security Disability rules, the full retirement age depends on when the worker was born. Once the worker reaches that age, benefits switch from disability to retirement.
Do Workers' Compensation Payments Offset Social Security Retirement Benefits?
Many employees also wonder if they can receive Social Security retirement benefits, which are often available to people receiving workers' compensation benefits.
However, it's essential to know that Social Security retirement benefits can be reduced according to the rules of the Social Security Administration.
Overall, a person's Social Security benefits may be cut if they receive retirement or disability benefits,
In most cases, the workers' compensation payment is subtracted from the Social Security retirement benefits.
Can Indiana Workers Withdraw Money If They Have a 401K or an Individual Retirement Account?
Under federal laws, employees are able to withdraw money from their retirement accounts, such as 401Ks.
If the employee contributed to the pension plan or those funds were rolled over into a retirement account, the insurance company might handle the disbursements.
However, a worker who takes money out of their retirement accounts might not be eligible for workers' compensation benefits. Therefore, injured employees should work with an experienced attorney to review all the options available and choose the best one.
What Happens If Employees Should Quit Working, but Their Workers' Compensation Claim Is Denied?
Unfortunately, a workers' compensation case does not always have positive results. Sometimes, injured employees are forced to quit working, but their claims are denied. As a result, they must retire due to their injuries.
Workers who find themselves in this situation may still be eligible to receive permanent disability benefits. However, they must make a solid and convincing argument that the injury left them permanently disabled and prove that that disability forced their retirement.
While getting temporary disability benefits is not typically an option for injured workers hoping to retire, seeking permanent disability compensation could help employees regain financial stability even if their claims are denied.
Should Injured Employees Contact a Workers' Compensation Attorney?
Many people wonder: "Will retirement affect workers' compensation?" Unfortunately, answering that question is not easy.
As mentioned, there are many retirement benefits for someone who sustained a workplace injury.
However, retirement can affect a person's workers' compensation claim. As a result, they could lose related benefits, such as coverage for lost wages and medical bills.
Luckily, employees nearing retirement age can consider a few options if they want to collect workers' compensation benefits.
If they have sustained an injury on the job, contacting a seasoned workers' compensation attorney is crucial.
Workers' compensation lawyers know Indiana's legal system and can help injured employees make the best decision for their recovery.
Plus, experienced workers comp attorneys in Indianapolis know insurance companies' and employers' tricks. These entities will always try to protect their best interests.
However, a professional workers' compensation lawyer will always go the extra mile to help injured employees get the best results.
Call Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys Today!
Any injured employee who needs legal counsel to make a sound decision regarding their workers' compensation claim or retirement plans can find a reliable lawyer at Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys. They can also answer advise on how long you can collect workers comp in Indiana.
This law firm's legal team has extensive experience in workers' compensation cases and offers assistance to all employees who sustained workplace injuries. Contact Schuerger Shunnarah Trial Attorneys today and get a free consultation! They go to war for their clients.