Can I retire when my North Carolina Workers’ Compensation claim is still ongoing?
As long as you are eligible to retire via the employer’s retirement plan or via the Social Security Administration, there is nothing preventing your retirement just because your workers’ compensation claim is still ongoing. However, the real question is, how will my retirement impact my workers’ compensation claim moving forward. The answer to this question all depends on the facts of your workers’ compensation case.
If at the time of your retirement your treating physician for the workers’ compensation case has indicated that your injury at work will prevent your return to work for your employer and any other possible new employer, then your retirement will not likely have any impact on your receipt of ongoing benefits for your workers’ compensation case.
If at the time of your retirement you have been able to return to work for your employer or a new employer, then your retirement may create an issue in your receipt of any future disability checks as a result of the workers’ compensation case, but should not create any issues concerning your receipt of ongoing medical treatment for the workers’ compensation case so long as your treating physician continues to recommend medical treatment, you continue to receive medical treatment and your physician continues to indicate the need for the ongoing medical treatment is all due to the injury at work.
All this being said, prior to electing to retire when you workers’ compensation case is still ongoing, I would recommend that you obtain a clear understanding of how your retirement may impact the benefits you may be entitled to receive for your workers’ compensation claim moving forward or if based on your decision to retire, would it possibly be better to try to settle the workers’ compensation case prior to moving forward with retirement in order to possibly maximize any benefits you may be entitled to receive as the result of the workers’ compensation claim.
These legal issues in workers’ compensation cases can oftentimes be complicated and confusing. For this reason, I always recommend an injured worker speak with a N.C. Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialist in order to understand their legal rights and what actions may or need to be taken in order to address any issues to assure the injured worker receives all the benefits she or he is entitled to as a result of the work injury.
Should you have any questions about these issues or any other issues involving your workers’ compensation case, please feel free to contact one of the four N.C. Board Certified Workers’ Compensation Specialists at Cardinal Law Partners for a free consultation, and requesting a copy of our free book Workers’ Compensation: A Bird’s Eye View.