If you get injured at work and are nearing retirement age, it may be tempting to retire immediately and take the time to recover without pressure of returning to work. Depending on your situation, your workers’ compensation lawyer may recommend that your reconsider retiring right now. Here are a few factors to think about in making the decision.
- Have You Reported the Injury?
Before you retire, you should report your injury to your employer and get started with the workers’ compensation process. Otherwise, you could end up with expensive medical costs related to the injury that you must pay out of pocket. Your employer has to know about the injury before you can receive medical and wage-replacement benefits.
- Have You Received Any Benefits?
If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may want to postpone the retirement until after you exhaust benefits or hear more from your doctor. First, your wage replacement benefits may exceed your available retirement pension or Social Security benefits. Second, you may receive medical benefits paid by the workers’ compensation insurance company, including surgery or replacement medical devices, that you would have difficulty getting on your own. If you have not yet received any benefits, you may want to hold onto your job while you wait for a decision from the insurance company or the workers’ comp judge.
- Do You Know If You Have Work Restrictions?
After you heal, your doctor may give you medical restrictions that limit your ability to perform your job. You may not be able to perform all the activities you once could, or you may be permanently disabled. If your employer cannot accommodate those restrictions, you may have a claim that the work injury forced your retirement. Alternatively, you may be eligible for free retraining or other vocational rehabilitation services.
- Do You Have Urgent Financial Needs?
One of the biggest factors in early retirement could be your financial situation. Consider whether you have enough savings or in expected pension benefits to support yourself. You may need to continue working at your old job or find a new job that will accommodate your restrictions.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.