When can workers’ compensation benefits be reduced?
The Colorado workers’ compensation system provides vital assistance to people who suffer on-the-job injuries. The benefits provided cover medical costs, partial replacement of wages, and when indicated, disability benefits. But in some cases, benefits can be reduced before an injured worker reaches the point of maximum medical improvement.
Injured workers owe it to themselves to learn under what circumstances their benefits could be reduced.
Will your workers’ compensation benefits be reduced?
Your workers’ compensation benefits can be reduced for any one of these reasons:
You return to work on either a full-time or part-time basis.
You receive unemployment benefits.
You or any dependent receives Social Security Disability benefits.
You are receiving workers’ compensation benefits from another state for the same injury.
You are receiving pension benefits from your employer.
You are receiving disability benefits paid in whole or in part by your employer.
Your injury was the result of alcohol or drug use.
You willfully deceive your employer regarding your ability to perform your assigned work duties.
You willfully failed to use a safety device, such as a hard hat, safety glasses, or safety harness.
You intentionally failed to follow a reasonable safety rule.
Appealing the reduction of workers’ compensation benefits
While some of the reasons whey benefits can be reduced are clear cut, others may be subject to dispute. If you believe that your benefits have been unfairly reduced or terminated, you have the right to appeal the decision. And if the insurance company acted in bad faith to reduce or terminate your benefits, you may be able to take action in civil court to obtain compensation, including the amount of benefits lost plus additional damages.
Seek the advice of an attorney if you have questions about your workers’ compensation claim.