If my job fires me because I was hurt at work, can I get workers’ comp? What about unemployment?

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Can you be fired while on workers’ comp in Georgia? Although an employer in Georgia cannot fire you for filing a workers’ comp claim, they can fire you for any other reason while you are receiving workers’ comp benefits. That said, proving you were fired because of your workplace injury can be difficult, as many employers have no qualms about making up a reason other than your job injury when asked about a termination in court!  

What if I’m fired while receiving workers’ compensation?

If you are fired after filing for workers’ compensation benefits, do not give up. In many cases, you can continue receiving workers’ compensation even if you are fired. While an employer in Georgia can fire you after a workers’ comp claim, it can mean you get your workers’ compensation disability benefits without being required to look for work. 

In a case decided in March 2015 called Burns v. State of Georgia DOAS, the court found that when an employer refuses to accommodate light duty restrictions or refuses to allow someone to return to his/her job after a workplace accident, the injured worker can establish a change of condition and get weekly disability benefits through workers’ comp without the requirement to show a diligent but unsuccessful search for work.

This decision helped to clarify the Padgett v. Waffle House case from 1998 and the Maloney v. Gordon County Farms case from 1995 regarding injured workers who are on restrictions and let go from their employment.

If you were fired for reasons related to your workers’ compensation claim, your temporary total benefits should start immediately and you wouldn’t need to look for employment.

What are temporary total disability benefits?

Temporary total disability (TTD) benefits are for lost wages. The insurance company pays them when you are unable to work because of your injury. TTD payments are made if you cannot work at all during your recovery.

Can you collect unemployment while receiving workers’ comp?

You cannot get unemployment benefits at the same time that you are receiving workers’ compensation temporary total disability benefits.  However, if the insurance company is fighting paying your workers’ compensation benefits, you may be able to file for and receive unemployment benefits while you are waiting to go to court. 

What to Do If You’ve Been Fired While Receiving Workers’ Compensation

If you have been fired while collecting workers’ comp benefits in Atlanta, contact our experienced workers’ compensation attorneys. We can help you navigate the complexities of workers’ compensation law and get you the compensation you deserve.

Editor’s Note: This post was originally published in June 2015 and has been updated for accuracy and comprehensiveness.



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