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How Does Retirement Affect Workers’ Compensation?

Posted in Worker's Compensation on January 26, 2022

Sustaining an injury at work can lead to significant setbacks. Not only does this include lost wages if you cannot work while recovering, but also the possibility of significant medical expenses. The good news is that most work injuries will be covered by workers’ compensation insurance. However, what happens if a person retires while they are receiving workers’ comp payments?

Workers’ Compensation Will Continue if You Are Injured and Then Retire

There are various reasons why an individual may retire after sustaining an injury. For some, retirement is a long-awaited reward after working an entire career. For others, retirement may be something that they are not ready for but is necessary due to various life events.

There are certainly times when individuals choose to retire after sustaining an on-the-job injury. The good news is that if an employee retires while they are currently receiving workers’ compensation payments, they will continue to receive coverage for medical bills related to the injury. Coverage of medical expenses is one of the most important aspects of workers’ compensation benefits. 

When an individual sustains a workplace injury, they may have emergency medical bills, follow-up doctor visits, surgical needs, medical equipment, and prescription medication needs, physical therapy and rehabilitation, and more. Even if an injured employee retires, Arizona workers’ compensation will continue to pay these expenses until their doctor says they have reached maximum medical improvement, the level at which further medical care will not likely improve the condition.

What About Compensation for Lost Wages?

Individuals who have not retired but cannot work due to their on-the-job injury will receive lost wage replacement through the workers’ compensation system equal to two-thirds of their average weekly wage. These payments will continue for a certain amount of time, usually until a person reaches maximum medical improvement. At that point, a doctor will determine whether or not the individual has sustained a permanent disability.

Payments for lost wages will likely not continue after a person retires. Since workers’ compensation payments are meant to replace lost income, retirement means that there is no lost income to replace anymore.

However, this does not necessarily mean that an individual will receive no lost wage replacement after sustaining a workplace injury. It may be smarter for an individual to put off retirement until after they have reached maximum medical improvement and are no longer expected to receive workplace benefits. 

We strongly suggest working with a skilled workplace injury lawyer in Arizona who has experience handling these matters and can help guide you towards the best path to recovering maximum compensation for your losses.

How a Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorney Can Help

If you are injured on the job, you deserve to receive coverage for your medical bills and lost wages. We understand that there are times when employers and insurance carriers push back from having to pay compensation, and a pending retirement may further complicate these difficulties. If you are struggling to receive the payments that you know you are entitled to through the Arizona workers’ compensation system, reach out to a skilled Phoenix workers’ compensation lawyer as soon as possible.