Houston Texas Lawyer Blog

Can You Collect Unemployment if You Are Out of Work Due to an Injury?

June 29, 2020 Workers Compensation

The general answer to this question is “no.” To collect unemployment benefits, you must be physically able and available to work. In other words, you will be expected to actively look for work. You will also be expected to accept work if offered when you are on unemployment. However, the reality is that if your injury leaves you unable to work, you would not be able to take a job if offered to you.

There are some limited exceptions to this hard-and-fast rule. If your injury left you disabled and out of work, but you would be able to work in a different job with “reasonable accommodations,” you might be able to collect unemployment insurance while seeking another job. Reasonable accommodations is a term that refers to when an employer adjusts the position or working environment in some way for an employee. Some examples of reasonable accommodations include making physical changes to the workspace, such as adding a ramp, modifying working hours, or providing an ergonomic workstation.

Can You Collect Unemployment if You Are Out of Work for Medical Reasons Other than Injury?

If you are out of work in Texas due to illness rather than injury, precisely due to COVID-19, you may be able to collect unemployment. With the passage of the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act by Congress, unemployment law changed. People who cannot work because they were diagnosed with COVID-19 or who are experiencing symptoms of the virus are eligible to collect unemployment benefits during the pandemic. Visit the Texas Workforce Commission website for more information on how to apply.

What Happens if You Can’t Work Due to an Injury that Happened On the Job?

It is always distressing to not be able to work and feed your family. It can be even more so when the injury that left you disabled happened at your job. What happens if you can’t work due to an injury you suffered at work? If you were injured in a job-related accident or incident, you might be able to get medical care and compensation if your employer carries workers’ compensation insurance. Workers’ compensation insurance (often referred to as “workers’ comp”) pays a percentage of weekly wages to employees who suffer injuries at work or related to their work. The insurance also pays medical expenses. However, if your employer does not carry workers’ comp, you can’t get benefits.

Employers in Texas Don’t Have to Carry Workers’ Comp.

Unlike most other states, employers in Texas are not required to carry workers’ compensation insurance for their employees. Even so, the majority of employers in the state carry it. If you’ve been injured on the job, ask your supervisor or human resources department whether the company provides workers’ comp. When an employer provides workers’ comp, employees cannot sue their employer for on-the-job injuries. Workers’ compensation insurance is the exclusive remedy.

If an Employer Does Not Provide Workers’ Comp They Can Be Sued.

Texas employers who choose not to provide workers’ compensation insurance to employees leave themselves open to lawsuits. Workers can sue their employers through the courts to get compensation for their work-related injuries. To successfully bring a lawsuit, you must show that the employer’s negligence caused your injury.

Speak With a Workers’ Comp Attorney if You Aren’t Sure About Your Options for Compensation.

If your injury happened at work and you aren’t sure about your options for compensation, it can be smart to speak with an on-the-job injury lawyer at Terry Bryant for assistance. Our lawyers can help you file for benefits if your employer carries workers’ comp and can handle your appeal if your initial claim is denied. It isn’t unusual for employers and their insurance companies to look for reasons to try to deny these benefits to injured workers. It’s important to remember that if your employer carries workers’ comp and you are injured, you are entitled to coverage in most cases.

And if your employer does not carry workers’ comp, the attorneys at the Terry Bryant law firm can advise you about filing a potential legal claim against your employer to get fair compensation for your on-the-job injuries. Call our Houston law firm at 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free consultation.

What Happens if You Can’t Return to Work After an Injury that Isn’t Job-Related?

The answer to this question depends on a couple of things. One of them is whether your injury is short-term or long-term. Texas does not provide for short-term disability coverage through the state. But if you have purchased a private short-term disability insurance policy or your employer provides it, you can file for benefits to cover the time off work due to your short-term injuries.

If you have an injury that is expected to leave you unable to work for a year or more, you may be able to get long-term disability benefits through Social Security. There are two types of benefits:

• Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) – SSDI is for people who have worked and paid into Social Security.
• Supplemental Security Income (SSI) – SSI is for disabled, elderly, or blind people with minimal income and resources.

You can visit the Social Security Administration for more information on these programs.

You Aren’t Alone — Our Experienced Houston Attorneys Can Explain Your Compensation Options When You Can’t Work Due to Injury.

Being injured and unable to work is both physically and emotionally hard. You may wonder how you will pay your monthly bills. When you have medical expenses on top of everything else, it can be devastating. And since, in most cases, you can’t get unemployment if you are injured and can’t work, you will need to explore your other options. Our skilled lawyers at Terry Bryant are here for you.

If you have short-term disability insurance, but the provider denies your claim, we will fight for your right to coverage. If you have a long-term injury, we’ll help you navigate the complicated Social Security filing process. And if you have suffered a work-related injury, we can help you file your workers’ comp claim and appeal it if denied. Or if your employer doesn’t provide workers’ comp, we will advise you about a legal suit. Get in touch with our experienced attorneys at the Terry Bryant law firm by calling 713-973-8888 or toll-free 1 (800) 444-5000 for a free, no-obligation consultation.

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