At Petro Cohen, P.C., we often hear clients list a number of reasons as to why they are hesitant – or downright afraid – to file workers’ comp claims with their employers for work-related injuries. Unfortunately, many of these fears are unfounded as they are based on misconceptions about the law, the process, and supposed repercussions.
One misconception that we hear far too often is that the filing of a (legitimate) workers’ comp claim will jeopardize a person’s hard-earned retirement benefits and perks, that they are otherwise due to receive upon retirement.
Offsets to Workers’ Comp Benefits Based on Retirement Benefits: A Completely Different Issue
One reason that some injured employees are reluctant to file a workers’ comp claim is because they know that there is some sort of relationship between workers’ comp benefits, retirement benefits, and how one can offset the other.
There is some truth that an individual’s own retirement benefits, Social Security disability benefits, and other benefits MAY offset the amount of WORKERS’ COMPENSATION benefits received at that time. Moreover, the amount of workers’ comp benefits that an individual receives may reduce the amount of SOCIAL SECURITY DISABILITY benefits received.
However, the issue of offsets is a completely separate and distinct issue. It should in no way be interpreted as meaning that the filing of a workers’ comp claim at some point before retirement will jeopardize your anticipated retirement benefits.
Employers Cannot Take Retaliatory Action Based Upon Your Decision to File a Workers’ Comp Claim
There are many things that your employer cannot do if and when you choose to file a workers’ comp claim. Specifically, your employer cannot fire you, reduce your pay, demote you, or take any other retaliatory action based on your decision to file a workers’ comp claim. Therefore, your employer is prohibited by law from doing anything that would reduce, eliminate, or otherwise mess with your earned retirement benefits simply because you filed a workers’ comp claim. There are serious penalties for doing so; and if you believe that your employer is somehow retaliating against you for filing a claim, contact an experienced workers’ comp attorney as soon as possible.
Do Not Let Fear Dictate Your Decisions
It is very understandable that people who suffered workplace injuries may be hesitant and unsure about going forward with filing a workers’ comp claim. Many employees do not know enough correct information about their rights, or the entire New Jersey workers’ comp system. And all too often, employers do very little, if anything, to educate their employees or to correct related misconceptions.
It cannot be stressed enough that you should not let fear dictate your decision to pursue a workers’ comp claim. Talk to an experienced workers’ comp attorney to discuss your situation. Don’t unknowingly waive workers’ comp benefits to which you are rightfully entitled.
Speak with a New Jersey Workers’ Comp Lawyer at Petro Cohen, P.C.
Our attorneys have decades of experience representing injured workers in New Jersey. If you are concerned about retaliation at work after filing for workers’ compensation, especially with respect to your retirement benefits, we encourage you to contact us right away so that we can review your case. Call (888) 675-7607 or contact us online to schedule your free consultation today.