Can You Retire While On Workers Compensation?


When it comes to retirement in New York state, you naturally want to make sure that your financial needs are taken care of before you hang up your hat. Whether you live in New York City, Long Island, or anywhere else in the state, you know that expenses just seem to keep rising – which means you have to have some way to pay the bills. Perhaps that’s why the Bureau of Labor Statistics indicates that by 2028 over a quarter of the American workforce will be over 55.

Workers’ compensation benefits can be a handy way to bring in some income as you transition out of the workforce. But before you jump at the opportunity to retire while on workers’ comp, pause for a moment. Retiring could put your workers’ comp benefits at risk. You should give us a call at Terry Katz & Associates, P.C., to get clarification on your workers’ compensation benefits and your retirement plans. We can help you determine the best way to retire – a way that will hopefully allow you to hold on to your workers’ comp cash benefits for as long as possible.

If you are getting workers’ compensation benefits in New York and you are thinking about retiring, you need a workers’ compensation lawyer to help protect your benefits.  Our firm will help you figure out the details so you can make the right decision. Contact us now at (516) 997-0997 to learn more!

Retiring on Workers’ Compensation – What You Need to Know

The best way for an injured worker to make a retirement decision when on workers’ compensation is to speak to a workers’ comp lawyer first. However, there is some basic information that you can learn before you contact our workers’ compensation law firm, including:

Retirement Won’t Cancel Your Medical Bill Payments for Your Work Injury

New York workers’ compensation law dictates that workers’ compensation insurance covers the cost of treating work-related injuries. You can go to the emergency room following the accident and get medical care which the insurance company will pay for. Then, you can go to an approved medical care provider to get further treatments for as long as it takes to treat your injury. Even if you retire before treatment is finished, the insurance carrier will continue to pay for your medical care to treat the injury.

If your employer is paying your medical expenses to treat your work-related injury, you can expect that support to continue if you retire. It is the cash benefits that you may be getting for workers’ comp that may be at risk when you retire, depending on the circumstances.

Retirement Does Not Necessarily End Your Workers’ Comp Benefits – Temporary Disability vs Permanent Disability

When you ask the question, “Can I still get workers’ compensation benefits if I retire?”, the answer is, “It depends.” You may be getting temporary disability benefits or you may be getting permeant disability benefits.

Temporary Disability Benefits

In workers’ compensation terms, temporary disability is when you are temporarily unable to work in the same capacity you were before due to your work-related injury. You get temporary disability benefits while you are healing from your injury. The goal is for your medical treatments to heal your workplace injury so that you can go back to work as before. That is why your status is “temporary disability” – it is supposed to end sometime in the future.

If you are collecting temporary disability benefits and you retire, you are likely to lose those benefits.

Permanent Disability Benefits

The second major category in workers’ compensation is a permanent disability. If your medical care provider determines that you are never going to be able to work as you once did due to your work-related injury, you will be able to get permanent disability benefits.

If you retire after getting permanent disability benefits, it may be possible to continue to get your benefits after you retire.

Try to Wait Until You Have Recovered from the Initial Injury Before Retirement

If possible, we always recommend that workers’ comp clients wait to decide about retirement until the dust has settled following their injury. You want to get the treatment prescribed by your doctor for your injury and give it enough time to heal the injury or not heal the injury. Once the initial treatment phase has been completed, the doctor will conduct an assessment to determine the extent of your disability due to your injury.

If the doctor decides that you have sustained a permanent disability, you can let your employer know. If your employer can’t find a way for you to keep working with your new restrictions, then you will have a compelling case that your injury caused you to retire – and therefore get to keep your permanent disability benefits.

What Happens if You Have to Quit Working But Your Workers’ Compensation Claim was Denied?

Sometimes life does not cooperate as well as we would like. There are situations where injured employees have their workers’ comp claims denied and are forced to quit working – having to retire out of necessity – due to their injuries. If you find yourself in this situation, you may still be able to get permanent disability benefits if you can make a convincing argument that your injury has left you permanently disabled and that disability forced you to retire. Getting temporary disability benefits is highly unlikely, but getting permanent disability benefits may still be an option. It is at this point that it becomes extremely useful to have a workers’ compensation lawyer on your side.

Free Consultation From Experienced New York Workers’ Comp Lawyers

If you are collecting workers’ comp benefits and want to retire, or you have been denied workers’ compensation benefits and have been forced to retire, please contact a workers' compensation attorney at the law firm of Terry Katz & Associates for a free consultation (516) 997-0997. We will listen to your story and give you the best legal advice we can for what to do next. We are on your side – here to help you get the benefits you deserve.

Terry Katz, Esq.
Terry Katz, Esq., the founding Member of the firm, handles all aspects of Workers’ Compensation and Social Security Disability cases.
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