Having your workers’ comp benefits terminated while still nursing work-related injuries can certainly be upsetting and confusing.
Being out of work due to an injury is devastating, but when the money that covered your lost wages and medical bills is cut off, the experience can be overwhelming. Here are some frequently asked questions about the termination of workers’ comp benefits.
What Is a Termination Petition?
This is a petition filed by your employer’s workers’ comp insurance company asking the judge to stop your benefits on the argument that you’re healed and ready to return to work.
The insurance company appoints a doctor to conduct an independent medical examination to determine whether you are fit to resume work. If the examination shows you have recovered, the insurer will file a termination petition.
Can Your Workers’ Comp Benefits Be Suspended Without Notice?
No. According to Missouri workers’ compensation laws, your benefits cannot be stopped without a genuine reason. If the insurance company has filed a termination petition, the court cannot stop your benefits without hearing from you. It’s your legal right to be notified about the petition filed. This will give you a chance to defend yourself if you are not fully recovered.
Note that the termination petition has a strict deadline. Therefore, if you have not done so already, it is highly recommended that you seek the help of an experienced work comp attorney to ensure you have all relevant medical evidence before the hearing date.
Will the Petition Affect Your Benefits?
While the insurance company may ask the work comp judge to suspend your benefits, you will receive your regular weekly compensation. However, the benefits will stop if the insurance company wins the petition.
Under What Circumstances Can a Judge Stop Your Benefits?
The judge may instruct the insurance company to stop paying you if you don’t comply with the Missouri Workers’ Compensation Act. For example, your benefits could be terminated if:
- You fail to attend an independent medical examination requested by the insurance company
- You refuse to take medication for your injuries
- You commit a crime and go to jail
- You agree to stop getting benefits
- You go back to work and start earning the same amount you were earning before the work-related injury
Remember that the insurance company may ask you to sign the Final Receipt declaring you do not require additional benefits. Do not sign this document without consulting an experienced work injury attorney. You do not want to stop your benefits before you are completely healed. Also, do not decide to go to work without consulting both your doctor and attorney. Doing so may aggravate an unhealed injury, which could jeopardize your benefits.
Speak With an Experienced St. Louis Work Injury Attorney
Our workers’ compensation attorneys have unmatched experience in representing work injury victims and can help you get the compensation you are legally entitled to. If you have been injured on the job in Missouri, give us a call 24/7 for a free case evaluation.
Speak With a Workers Comp Attorney
Give us a call 24/7 for a FREE Case Evaluation