How Does Age Impact Workers’ Compensation Settlements?

With the changes in the U.S. economy in the last decade, more people are working into their later years. If they are hurt on the job, returning to work may be a less attractive option than simply retiring. However, before making that choice, it’s important to consider how age impacts workers’ compensation settlements. 

Let’s consider some questions about how retirement could affect the amount of your settlement, including whether you could lose your benefits if you retire before your claim is completed.

How Does Age Affect Work-Related Injuries and Workers’ Compensation Claims? 

Younger workers are better able to recover from even serious injuries on the job. However, they are also more likely to take risks and get hurt than someone over the age of 45. Older workers, conversely, may take longer to heal from conditions such as broken bones, back and spinal damage, or head injuries. 

There’s an increased chance that employees in their 50s and 60s will end up with a permanent injury from a work-related accident. Many older employees often have pre-existing conditions that can be made worse by an accident or delay their recovery. As a result, the costs of their workers’ comp claims are often higher because they require more care for longer periods. 

These individuals can be offered light-duty jobs when they return to work, such as desk jobs or administrative positions. While this can be satisfying for many, if the person is close to their anticipated retirement age, they may prefer to say goodbye to the working world entirely.

Does Being Older Impact Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement? 

Insurance companies, even those for workers’ compensation, are in the business of making money. They take in premiums, paid by your employer, and pay out claims. If they can reduce what they are sending to injured employees, they can retain bigger profits. It seems unfair when you are hurt and need the benefits, but it is simply the way the system works.

This means that workers’ comp representatives are always looking for ways to settle your claim and stop spending money on you. If it appears your recovery will be lengthy, and you are nearing the right age, they might encourage you to go ahead and retire. They’ll claim you can get the same support from Social Security, which may or may not be true.

The critical thing to remember is that the workers’ compensation claim adjusters are working for themselves, not you. To get someone on your side who will look out for your best interests, it is helpful to speak with an accomplished and knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney.

Can You Retire While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania?

Remember, both the employer and the workers’ comp insurance company are eager to spend less on claims, so they may go so far as to tell senior citizens that they can’t get their benefits if they retire. They may remind you that eligibility for workers’ compensation depends on being able to earn wages, and retiring means an employee is no longer doing so. 

They could claim that your retirement is the cause of your loss of income. This is complicated because if you were forced into retirement because of your injury, you could still be eligible for the key benefits of partial wage replacement and medical expenses. However, if you retire voluntarily, you may not be able to continue your claim and will have to accept a lower settlement.

Knowing how the law applies to your unique circumstances can be confusing. Workers’ compensation insurance companies depend on knowing more about how the system works than you do. That’s why it’s valuable to speak with a skilled employment lawyer who can help you push back against unfair tactics. 

Find Out More About How Your Age Could Affect Your Workers’ Compensation Settlement

If you are considering retiring after a work-related injury, you should understand all the factors that could impact your workers’ compensation settlement. Making a choice about whether to leave the workforce while you are hurt could result in less financial support. This could put you in a crisis if your condition worsens.

Don’t be left footing the bill when you deserve full benefits. Sit down with a worker’s compensation attorney from Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo to discuss all your options and protect your rights. 

Schedule a free, no-risk consultation using our online form today.

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