Regardless of age or occupation, any worker faces the risk of a work-related injury.
According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 2.6 million nonfatal workplace injuries and illnesses occurred in 2021. While an injured employee has the right to file a workers’ compensation, it often comes with many questions. Some of those questions revolve around how age may impact a claim.
1. How can age affect work-related injuries?
While it depends on the person, younger and older workers often face different work-related injuries. A worker under 45 likely has lower odds of getting injured and can usually recover quicker. As humans age, biology plays a key role in injuries and healing. Workers over 50 may face a higher risk of permanent injury due to a number of factors.
2. Does age factor into the benefits received?
Although age should not factor in getting workers’ compensation benefits, the insurance industry focuses on making money. Older workers tend to take longer to recover and may have started to develop pre-existing conditions, which can make it difficult to prove the work caused the injury. For people nearing retirement age, sustaining a workplace injury may lead to additional complications in getting a claim approved.
3. Will retiring impact workers’ compensation benefits?
In some instances, an employer or the insurance company may provide a plethora of reasons why an older injured person should just retire. Considering that many work-related injuries lead to severe, long-term challenges, doing so may mean taking a lower settlement that does not cover the true costs of the injuries. Deciding to retire may also provide evidence that a loss of income happened due to retirement and not an injury.
Any workplace injury has the potential for severe consequences. Whether young or adult, victims have the right to receive compensation.