Retirement is something most working Iowans look forward to. If your retirement is on the horizon when you suffer a work injury, you may think it’s a good idea to “just retire now.” Before you make your decision, you need to understand how retirement can affect your ability to receive fair compensation for your work injury.
Why You Shouldn’t Retire Right Away After Getting Hurt at Work
First let’s talk about what workers’ compensation benefits will NOT be affected if you decide to retire. If you receive a weekly workers’ compensation check after your work injury, then you are entitled to medical care that is related to your work injury for the rest of your life, even if you retire.
The benefits that may be affected by a voluntary retirement are temporary and permanent workers’ compensation disability benefits.
Temporary Disability Benefits and Retirement
Temporary disability benefits are paid to an injured worker while they are healing from an injury. These benefits stop when the injured worker returns to work, or is released from the doctor. If you voluntarily retire during your healing period, you may forfeit your right to temporary disability benefits during the time you are healing from a work injury, even if you cannot physically work.
Permanent Disability Benefits and Retirement
If your injury is severe enough, you may be entitled to permanent disability benefits. The amount of permanent disability benefits you receive can be dramatically capped if you voluntarily leave the job with your employer.
It is typically in your best interest to offer to return to work after a work injury and force the employer to decide whether they will accept you back to work. Voluntarily quitting your job can amount to a reduction of your permanent disability benefits.
There are many reasons why choosing to retire may be best for your family. But retiring too soon can result in a loss or lower amount of workers’ compensation benefits. To be on the safe side, you should talk to an Iowa workers’ compensation attorney before you make the decision.
If you have further questions about retirement and Iowa workers’ compensation benefits, call RSH Legal today at 1-319-774-1783.