by Karl Voigt
The Commonwealth Court has recently issued a case addressing a claimant’s ability to receive Unemployment Compensation after settling her Workers’ Compensation Case. In Nicole Lee v. Unemployment Compensation Board of Review, 2085 C.D. 2010, the claimant settled her Workers’ Compensation case, then applied for Unemployment. She was denied those benefits and filed an appeal to the Court. The Commonwealth Court ruled that she could not collect Unemployment Compensation after she settled her Workers’ Compensation case.
It’s important to note that, when she settled her Workers’ Compensation case, she agreed to resign from the employer where she was injured. It was this fact that made the appellate Court rule that her voluntary resignation from the employer made her ineligible for Unemployment Compensation benefits. The Court reasoned that it was her choice to resign. Of course, when an applicant for Unemployment Compensation has voluntarily resigned from employment — whether part of a Workers’ Compensation settlement or not — she can’t collect unemployment. As a general rule, Unemployment Compensation benefits are available to those who have been laid off or have quit their jobs with good cause.
Anyone contemplating settling their Workers’ Compensation case should be mindful of the effects of that resolution on other benefits, such as Unemployment Compensation.