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Can I Retire While on Workers’ Compensation?

On Behalf of | Jan 10, 2019 | Firm News

Allegheny County Workers' Compensation lawyers advise older workers on retiring while collecting compensation.

Workers’ Compensation is payment provided to workers who are temporarily or permanently not able to work due to injury.

Whether or not a worker can retire while receiving Workers’ Compensation will depend on what type of benefits they are receiving, and their definition of retirement.

For example, those receiving wage loss benefits or temporary disability payments will lose those payments if they retire from the workforce, because they are no longer considered workers.

On the other hand, those receiving permanent disability payments may never be able to return to work. Therefore, an employee in this situation has essentially retired, whether they wanted to or not.

However, it should be noted that an employee who plans to retire from work due to their injuries will have to have a strong claim that their injury forced retirement.

Evidence for this type of claim usually includes:

  • Medical Assessment
  • Records of Injury History
  • Proof that Workers’ Compensation Vocational Rehabilitation is not applicable
  • Employer verification that job availability is beyond the scope of employee injury restrictions

Social Security and Pensions

While Workers’ Compensation provides compensation for wage loss and medical expenses, it does not protect health insurance benefits. Sometimes an injured worker may be forced to collect Social Security or their pension to protect their health coverage. However, Pennsylvania Act 57 allows employers to reduce Workers’ Compensation benefits if an employee is collecting other types of benefits.

Those receiving Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation benefits and considering retirement should speak to an Allegheny County Workers’ Compensation lawyer about the best options for moving forward.

What if I am Injured While Working Beyond Retirement Age?

The US Census Bureau reports that about 20 percent of Americans over 65 years old are still working, and while an employee’s age does not directly affect their rights to collect Workers’ Compensation benefits, common assumptions about older workers could lead to a denied claim.

Common workplace accidents, such as slip and falls and machinery mishaps, can occur to workers of any age. However, older workers’ on the job experiences may lessen the occurrence of injuries due to accidents.

Instead, older workers often experience issues such as:

  • Back problems
  • Muscle degeneration
  • Repetitive motion injuries
  • Joint issues

Because these injuries are not connected to any one incident or accident, and often develop over a prolonged period, their connection to the workplace is often more difficult to prove.

Additionally, it is important to keep in mind that older workers still have a right to collect Workers’ Compensation for a preexisting condition that has been aggravated on the job. However, in many cases, the insurance company will try to disagree.

Allegheny County Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at AlpernSchubert P.C. Fight for Workers Injured on the Job

Injured employees without legal representation could be jeopardizing their rights to compensation for their injuries. Before filing a claim, opting for retirement, or collecting other benefits, consult with an experienced Allegheny County Workers’ Compensation lawyer at AlpernSchubert P.C. For a free, initial consultation, call us today at 412-765-1888 or complete our online contact form. Located in Pittsburgh, we serve clients throughout Pennsylvania, including the areas of Allegheny County, Lawrence County, Washington County and Western Pennsylvania.