Can You Collect Unemployment If You Are Out Of Work Due To Injury?

January 10, 2022

If you suffer an injury while you’re working, you may have to take some time off of work. Your injury or illness might cause you to have to stay home. That period might last longer than you would hope, because you really need to get back to work. You might think that applying for unemployment benefits is the solution because you won’t be working. However, the situation may be more complicated. Unemployment benefits are for people who have lost their job. If you are injured, in most cases you’re simply temporarily not working. There are situations where you can you collect unemployment if you are out of work due to an injury.

What are Unemployment Benefits?

If you lose your job through no fault of your own, or you are laid off for a long time for reasons that are your employer’s and not yours, you may be eligible to receive unemployment benefits. If you are fired, you generally cannot receive unemployment benefits unless certain circumstances exist. If you quit, you generally cannot receive unemployment benefits unless certain circumstances exist. If you are injured and cannot work, you may be eligible to receive other forms of relief to help out, and these may come in the form of Workers’ Compensation.

What is Workers’ Compensation?

If you are injured on the job, the state and federal government have provided a system so that you can be compensated for the time you have to spend not working and to help with your recovery. The system is known to most as Workers’ Compensation. In some cases, you can file some paperwork and receive payment for treatment and a day off from work. However, these workers’ comp cases can become extremely complicated.

In Pennsylvania, the Workers’ Compensation division of the Department of Labor and Industry governs the program.

Can You Get Workers’ Compensation if You Can’t Work?

Sometimes, on-the-job injuries prevent you from returning to work and performing your old duties. Workers’ Comp is set up to step in and help while you recover. You can receive money for doctor’s visits, hospital stays or other treatments. If you have to miss work, the system should cover that.

What Happens if You Can’t Work Due to an Injury?

If you’re injured, Workers’ Comp will compensate you for injuries suffered while performing duties at your employer’s request. It’s a law that helps prevent workers and employers from being in conflict over whether an accident was someone’s fault.

Sometimes, an on-the-job injury can become very serious. You may have to stay home for several days, weeks or months to recover. You will, however, be able to remain as an employee with your company because of the rules of the unemployment insurance program. You cannot be fired while you are legitimately sick or injured even if you are out of work for a long time. Also, under the rules of Texas’ unemployment insurance program, you cannot collect unemployment if you are “unable” to work. So then, if you are injured at work, and you are rendered unable to work, you cannot collect unemployment benefits.

There are exceptions to this. The most well-known exception is the “reasonable accommodations” exception. If your injury renders you unable to perform your normal duties or you are disabled, you may be able to work performing some other job for your employer. You would have to be otherwise able to perform the work (show that you’re qualified to do the job, for example). Under these circumstances, you would be considered “able to work.” If you’re able to work and are looking for work, you are eligible to collect unemployment benefits.

Can You Collect Unemployment If You Are out of Work for Medical Reasons?

We know that COVID and other communicable diseases are wreaking havoc on the economy, and many employees are concerned about what happens to them if they get a virus and cannot come to work for whatever reason. If they are going to be out for a long time, can they collect unemployment benefits? As far as the unemployment insurance program is concerned, there is no difference between illness and injury if you are otherwise qualified to receive unemployment benefits. So then, you are eligible to receive unemployment benefits for medical reasons like illness or disease.

The Workers’ Compensation program is keeping statistics on COVID-19 in Pennsylvania. The employees are covered by the program and receive lost wages and treatment.

Find Out What Happens if You Can’t Return to Work After an Injury

If you are seriously injured on-the-job, it can seem like the world is turning upside down. You fear being out of work for a long time, being unable to pay bills or take care of your family. You may be offered Workers’ Compensation help, which may add more stress to the situation. You may not know where to turn. Contact the attorneys at Wapner Newman Attorneys at Law for help with your Workers’ Compensation or Unemployment Law concerns. Call us at (215) 569-0900 to find out how we can help you.