The vast majority of people who file workers’ compensation claims are still employed when they apply for benefits. However, in some cases, an injured worker may decide to file a workers’ compensation claim after leaving a job. Is this possible? Are you still entitled to benefits if you are no longer employed by the company? Here’s what you should know:
Are Injuries Sustained Before or After Employment Covered?
The law states that injuries are not covered by the workers’ compensation system if they were sustained at a time where you were not working for your employer. This means you cannot file a workers’ compensation claim for injuries you sustained before getting hired or after terminating your employment. However, you are entitled to benefits for injuries that occurred during the course of your employment. This is true regardless of whether the injuries were sustained on the first or last day of your employment—if you were employed, the injuries are covered.
Recovering Workers’ Compensation Benefits After Leaving A Job
In some cases, it may be appropriate to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits after leaving a job. For example, let’s say you sustain a repetitive use injury, which is caused by repetitive movements or overuse. These injuries occur gradually over time, so you may not understand the severity of the injury until you have already parted ways with your employer.
If this happens, it’s important to file a workers’ compensation claim as soon as possible. As long as the injury is work-related, it is covered by the workers’ compensation system even though you are no longer working for the employer. The same rule applies for occupational diseases, which may not be diagnosable until you have already stopped working for your employer.
When to File A Claim After Leaving Your Job
In Oklahoma, employees who suffer a work-related repetitive use injury or occupational disease must notify their employers within 30 days from the date they were last employed. If you meet this deadline, it is assumed that your occupational disease or repetitive use injury is work-related.
If you miss this deadline, it is still possible to recover workers’ compensation benefits. However, if you file a claim more than 30 days after leaving your job, you must be able to provide evidence that shows the repetitive use injury or occupational disease is work-related.
If you have suffered a work-related injury or illness, contact the attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. at once. We are committed to helping injured workers in Oklahoma fight for the workers’ compensation benefits they deserve. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.