Workers compensation and unemployment benefits

Workers compensation and unemployment benefits

Applying for unemployment with workers compensation as the main issue is an interesting topic. Typically both parties, the claimant and the employer each have attorneys representing them. Each attorney typically only specializes in workers compensation since it is such a complex issue. Normally neither attorney has any idea how unemployment hearings work since it is so specific and different regarding legal procedures and processes.

When the hearing is held it is normally discovered that the employee has settled a worker’s compensation claim with the employer and is not attempting to receive unemployment. The employee is usually coerced to sign a settlement to receive workers compensation also stating they are quitting working for the employer. So legally the employee made the decision to quit. The employer did not state they would fire the employee if they did not sign the document stating they quit. This is quasi legal and an entire other issue when an employee is being forced to quit even though they would not be allowed to continue working for the employer to receive a worker’s comp settlement.

Back to the issue of benefits, the advice in this scenario is to first speak to your attorney about refusing to tell the employer you quit simply to settle the workers comp case. Either make the employer act first, or put in writing that the employee is being forced to quit to receive the settlement. Typically in hearings the claimant is completely unaware they are being manipulated out of qualifying to receive unemployment benefits by quitting their job. The majority of the time the claimant will not qualify for benefits since they did not establish a credible reason for quitting.

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