Early Retirement with an L&I Claim
Many companies offer early retirement to workers who have serious job injuries. The suggestion is that since you are close to retirement, why not take it now and be done with it. It’s a good idea, but take care as to how you retire. You can retire early and have an L&I claim but get it right. Take care of the important details.
Retirement Choices While You are Working
Medically necessary due to injury with an L&I claim is a retirement choice that will qualify you a wider spectrum of L&I settlement options. This is a good choice because it includes L&I pension and other benefits.
Regular retirement is a retirement choice which could adversely affect the settlement and closure of your L&I claim. If you choose regular retirement, make it very clear in the retirement paperwork that part of the reason you cannot work is due to the effects of the job injury.
Medical Retirement with an L&I Claim
- The definition of medical retirement will change depending upon who is using it.
- If your doctor says you can medically retire he likely thinks you can’t or shouldn’t be working and you may be eligible for a pension or social security disability.
- If your company or employer says you can medically retire, pay attention. Many self insured employers will transition their workers from leave of absence to medical retirement and an employer or union pension. Nothing wrong with that. However those same employers often will not explain that you can get both an employer or union pension and L&I benefits, to include an L&I pension. This is a big deal. Get it right.
- Voluntary retirement is an L&I concept, be careful with this. If you have an L&I order saying you have voluntarily retired, be careful and act quickly so you don’t miss your deadline to protest the order. See Voluntary Retirement and L&I Benefits
- Early retirement is a social security concept that reduces retirement benefits. If eligible consider social security disability instead of early retirement. If you are going to live a long time, consider delaying your social security retirement.
- Early retirement is also a company concept where you are offered a settlement by your employer to quit working. Think carefully about what you are giving up before you agree. Get advice if you need it.
L&I Claim Closure and Settlement Choices
Serious injury L&I claims will close in one of three ways. With a Permanent Partial Disability (PPD) award, with a Claims Resolution Settlement Agreement or with an L&I Pension. It makes a difference.
An L&I Pension is a claim closure option. It is the option of choice for many injured workers if they will never work again. It is the best L&I settlement.
All L&I claims are in theory eligible for closure with a pension. Said another way your employer doesn’t need to have a pension plan for you to be eligible for an L&I pension. An L&I pension can be awarded to any injured worker who will never work again, at least in part because of a job injury.
It doesn’t matter if your employer:
- has or doesn’t have a retirement package
- has or doesn’t have a pension plan
- wants you to get a pension or not
L&I Permanent Partial Disability (PPD)
An L&I Permanent Partial Disability settlement is the usual way L&I claims close. This option is for injured workers who can return to work. It is a modest sum of money paid for physical and/or mental impairment at claim closure. See Permanent Partial Disability for more information.
Early Retirement and L&I Claim Closure
If you will never work again, and your L&I job injury is at least partly responsible for your not working, then retire as medically necessary, and you will keep open your chance to also receive a L&I pension at claim closure.
Getting an L&I Pension
L&I pensions are good to have but difficult to get. It takes a serious injury, an inability to ever work again, a helpful doctor, good timing, and a little luck to get one. It’s worth the effort. Contact Us at the Sharpe Law Firm if we can help. You’ll be glad you did.
Voluntary retirement according to L&I is something different. In the L&I system, it means more than you decided to stop working. It means you don’t get time loss or pension benefits for the L&I claim you just opened. Don’t let this happen to you. If you get a voluntary retirement order see Voluntary Retirement and L&I Benefits
Retirement with a Workers Comp L&I Claim
This is complex because different systems use similar words to describe different things. If you have retirement choices and are confused, call on us, we are here to help.