If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you likely depend on them to help you financially while you recover from your injury. When you are receiving benefits, it’s important to know when your benefits can end and why. Not only can this help you avoid making a mistake that jeopardizes your benefits, but it can also help you plan for when you will no longer have this source of added income and coverage for your medical expenses related to the injury itself. Here are five of the reasons why your workers’ compensation benefits could come to an end.
Compromise & Release
Benefits are usually found in continual payments or recurring coverage for your medical expenses. However, if you decide to settle your case and accept a lump-sum payment, you essentially are agreeing to a compromise with your employer and their insurance company wherein you receive the settled terms in exchange for ending the lawsuit and your benefits. Review any settlement propositions carefully with a Sacramento workers’ comp lawyer before accepting them.
If a doctor evaluates you and finds that you are no longer in accordance with an already-assigned level of disability, then your disability benefits could end. For example, say a doctor declares you permanently partially disabled after you injure your arm and seemingly show little improvement, but a couple of years later your body takes well to a new form of treatment and you can continue to work without pain. At this point, your physician could remove your permanent disability, which would end your benefits.
Your insurance company can deny and cut off your benefits for a variety of reasons. Usually they do this because they haven’t received some form of documentation to support your benefit payments, but they can also do so if you fail to attend an evaluation or your evaluating doctor doesn’t submit the proper reports. The good news is that you can appeal this decision and have the benefits continue if the discontinuation is the result of a mistake.
Appeals Board Determination
The Workers’ Compensation Appeals Board has a lot of authority in workers’ compensation cases. They can terminate your benefits if you fail to attend hearings, prosecute your case, submit paperwork, or even terminate them as part of a compromise and release agreement or in line with a court decision.
Labor Code Limitations
California’s labor code institutes limitations on how long a worker can receive benefits for if they’re injured at work. Even the most serious of injuries are usually limited to 204 weeks of total temporary disability benefits, with many other less-serious injuries getting even less time. Talk to an attorney about your injuries to see if you’re bound by any of these limitations.Call Smolich & Smolich today at (888) 452-0703 to schedule a free case evaluation.