Nov 3, 2020

Workers’ Compensation & Unemployment

An injured worker in Georgia can often file for workers’ compensation benefits to help them focus on recovery rather than their bills. What happens when a company shutters while an employee is still on workers’ compensation? Or what happens if that employee is let go due to downsizing or terminated due to poor performance?

Under normal circumstances, a worker who is suddenly out of a job might be able to file for unemployment benefits. Small to moderate wage replacement benefits can be earned through unemployment benefits paid through a government program. But there could be a problem if the claimant wants unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Most states like Georgia do not allow you to get workers’ comp wage benefits and unemployment benefits simultaneously.

If you are receiving temporary total disability or temporary partial disability benefits through a workers’ compensation plan, then your unemployment benefits filing can be denied. This forced separation can be bad news if you would stand to actually earn more through unemployment than what you are getting through workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits.

Technical Overlap of Benefits

There are ways that you can receive workers’ compensation benefits and unemployment benefits at the same time or one right after the other. For example, if your workers’ compensation claim has been denied, then you can file for unemployment benefits while you are fighting with the insurance company for your deserved benefits. In that situation, there is no promise that you will receive wage benefits through workers’ comp, so there is no “double-dipping” if you also file for unemployment. Typically, your unemployment benefits will be canceled if or when your workers’ comp benefits are approved.

It might also be possible to get unemployment benefits to provide income while you look for new work while also getting workers’ compensation benefits for other reasons. For another example, workers’ compensation benefits can pay for vocational retraining or, more commonly, they pay for the cost of medical treatments. You should be able to enjoy these benefits after you are hurt in a workplace accident, regardless of most other forms of benefits you can receive. Ultimately, workers’ comp and unemployment benefits are only disallowed simultaneously when concerning income replacement.

Fighting for Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Another difference to consider between unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits is that unemployment benefits are usually awarded without much conflict to anyone eligible. On the other hand, workers’ compensation benefits are managed by insurance companies who want to make a profit, which means they need to save as much money as possible. You can expect that there will be some resistance when filing and managing your claim, such as the insurance company denying, delaying, or undervaluing your claim.

If you need workers’ comp after a serious workplace injury, whether you also need unemployment benefits, too, then you should consider speaking with an attorney. Using the insight and experience of a trusted local workers’ compensation lawyer can make it much more difficult for an insurance company to mismanage or disrespect your claim.

Workers’ compensation claimants in Atlanta, Georgia can turn to Hansford McDaniel LLC for legal guidance. Dial 770-922-3660 and schedule a free case evaluation with our team. With our decades of combined legal experience, we are confident we can help you through your case, no matter what tricks insurers might be trying to use.