Workers' Compensation Questions Answered: Under What Circumstances Can My Employer Attempt to Suspend or Terminate My Compensation Benefits?
October 3, 2011
If you and your employer do not agree concerning your right to continued receipt of compensation benefits, your employer or its insurance company may file a petition requesting that a judge terminate, suspend, or modify your benefits.
Frequently, this occurs when there is a disagreement among physicians concerning whether you have recovered from a work injury. Often, a physician who has performed an independent medical examination at the request of an employer prepares a report in which the physician concludes that you have fully recovered from your work injury.
If your physician feels that you have not fully recovered, your employer may file a Petition To Terminate Compensation Benefits. In a Petition for Termination, the employer alleges that you have fully recovered from the work injury and can return to work without medical restrictions.
If the physician hired by the insurance company claims that you have partially recovered from your work injury and can return to modified work, your employer may offer modified employment to you. If you do not return to modified work or return briefly, the employer may file a Petition to Suspend your compensation benefits. In such cases, your employer probably will allege that though you remain partially disabled from a work injury, you have failed to make a good faith effort to return to modified work consistent with your medical restrictions.
If you are referred modified employment which pays less than your pre-injury wages and do not respond to the referral, your employer may file a Petition to Modify your compensation benefits. Such a petition is similar to a suspension petition, but instead of a request for a full suspension of wage loss benefits, the employer seeks only a reduction in those benefits.
If you receive an offer of employment by your employer and your physician does not believe you should accept this offer, you should contact an attorney immediately. If you are receiving benefits and the insurance company requests that you undergo an “independent medical examination” or hires a vocational expert to conduct a vocational interview, you should contact an attorney. Finally, if you receive a Petition to Terminate, Suspend or Modify your compensation benefits, you will need an attorney. In any of these circumstances, call Willig, Williams & Davidson at 1-866-413-COMP (2667) or 1-215-656-3600.
Willig, Williams & Davidson Workers' Compensation Lawyers
The workers compensation attorneys at Willig, Williams & Davidson have a deep knowledge of workers’ comp law. Our attorneys in PA use our workers’ compensation expertise and a broad client base to leverage the best possible results for our clients in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and beyond. Our Workers’ Compensation Department provides advice, counseling and legal representation to sick and injured workers, to make sure that they receive 100 percent of the benefits required by law.