In June 2019, Georgia Pacific announced that it would be closing multiple manufacturing plants in the Southeast. In August 2019 the Kellogg Corporation announced that it would lay off 108 employees in Atlanta. Additionally, the Milledgeville Mohawk plant announced the closure of its plant in October 2019.
When these corporate factory plants close its doors, many workers will be greatly affected. However, many injured employees will be led to believe that their workers’ compensation claims will also “close” when the plant does. This is NOT true.
Generally, the employers carry a separate insurance policy that will continue its obligations after the plants or stores close. In other words, your workers’ compensation claim may continue even after the plant or store closes.
Furthermore, your being entitled to unemployment benefits will not impact the medical care obligations the Employer will still have. However, it may affect your weekly income benefits under certain circumstances.
It is important to remember that these insurance companies have competing interests against yours. In general terms, your medical treatment should continue, as well as your income benefits, if you are totally disabled.
If you are on “light duty” and you are laid off while you were working within your medical restrictions, you may have an obligation to conduct a diligent search for suitable employment within your medical restrictions with another employer. If you cannot find suitable employment because of your prior work injury, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation income benefits. It will be your burden to prove your entitlement to these benefits.
There is no doubt that the Employer or insurance company will contest your workers’ compensation claims. Therefore, you should not go to battle alone. For a free consultation on this matter, please contact the Ramos Law Firm.