Retirement IssuesIf a worker "voluntarily" retires from his/her job, that worker's right to compensation benefits may terminate if the worker is not also considered to be “totally disabled.” The insurance carrier may argue that the partially disabled worker who retires voluntarily has removed him/herself from the labor market and is no longer entitled to weekly benefit payments. In such a situation, the Workers' Compensation insurance carrier may be judicially released from liability for Wage Replacement or Reduced Earnings payments (but not medical benefits) perhaps until the worker goes back to work, if ever. In fact, the worker who has been found to have voluntarily removed him/herself from the labor market may never be able to regain eligibility for weekly benefits, depending on the facts of the claim.
In some claims, a worker may also be found to have retired "involuntarily." That is to say that the worker's causally-related injury or disease will be considered to have forced the worker from his/her employment because of its impact on the worker's capacity to continue working. Under such "involuntary" circumstances, the worker's right to continue drawing weekly benefit checks may continue even after retirement.
If a work-related injury or illness is truly forcing a decision to retire, there is a very good chance a well-prepared and represented claimant can have his/her retirement deemed "involuntary" by the Workers' Compensation Board. Weekly benefit checks will then continue, perhaps for life. If you need to retire soon due to a Workers' Compensation injury or illness, please contact us for a free consultation.