Workers’ Compensation Benefits and Unemployment Benefits

You are laid off from work due to your injury.  Should you apply for benefits under both the workers’ compensation and the unemployment divisions?  In most cases, yes you should apply for both work comp benefits and unemployment benefits. 

Unable to work – If you are not able to work as defined by your medical provider, then you should not apply for unemployment but instead seek work comp benefits only. 

Restrictions: If you are able to return to work with restrictions but the restrictions are too restrictive, unemployment may determine you are not employable and thus not entitled to benefits. However, it is worth applying for unemployment benefits in this scenario. 

Released with Restrictions: If you are released to work with restrictions, then you should apply for work comp benefits and unemployment benefits.  If you are awarded unemployment benefits and are later successful in obtaining workers’ compensation benefits for the same time period, you will be required to repay some or all of your unemployment benefits.

If your work comp benefit is less than your unemployment benefit, applying for unemployment while receiving workers’ compensation may be beneficial as well.  Be sure you accurately answer all questions on the unemployment application, including your restrictions and your workers’ compensation claim.  Failing to do so could result in penalties or worse.   

Applying for Benefits:  Knowing which benefit to apply for can be confusing.  Contacting a Workers’ Compensation Attorney can help you sort this out and make sure you are applying for the correct benefit plus the attorney can explain how your benefits will work if you qualify for both workers’ compensation and unemployment.