It is more common than you might think for an injured employee to start looking for a new job while they are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, before you agree to take a new position, it is important that you understand the implications it will have on your workers’ compensation benefits.
You can start a new job while on workers’ comp, but your benefits may be reduced. Your workers’ compensation lawyer at Farmers & Morris Law, PLLC can help you understand what to expect from your case.
In This Article
Changing Jobs On Workers’ Comp
If you are currently collecting workers’ compensation benefits through your existing employer but are hoping to change jobs, you have the legal right to do so.
However, this could have an impact on the amount of compensation you are awarded weekly. Some of the details you should know if you are currently collecting workers’ compensation benefits and are hoping to change jobs include:
- Workers’ compensation benefits should not be canceled if you can accept light-duty work at a reduced rate of pay.
- Workers’ compensation benefits should not be terminated if you make the decision to change jobs.
- Workers’ compensation benefits should not be terminated if you accept a new job with a lesser-paying position.
If you are currently collecting workers’ compensation benefits, the amount you are collecting could be reduced or even increased depending on the details of your case.
Receiving partial benefits could reduce the amount of compensation you are awarded, especially if you are collecting compensation through a new employer.
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Can You Take A Second Job On Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation benefits rarely cover your loss of income entirely. In fact, the majority of workers’ compensation benefits recipients collect only approximately two-thirds of their average weekly salary. In order to make up the difference, you may be wondering whether you should take a second job.
However, it is important to keep in mind that this will likely reduce the amount you are currently receiving as part of the existing workers’ compensation benefits each week.
Failure to report this additional income could be considered insurance fraud, which is punishable by criminal penalties if you are charged. If you are unsure whether you have the right to pursue a second job while collecting workers’ compensation benefits, or if you are unsure how your benefit amount will be impacted by a second job, make sure to discuss your options with your workers’ compensation attorney before you make a decision either way.
Reasons To Switch Jobs After A Work Injury
After suffering a work-related injury, you may be anxious to get back to work. However, others are more interested in a career change. Common reasons why employees may switch jobs after being involved in an on-the-job accident include:
- Job opportunities that allow them to earn a living with their newfound physical restrictions
- Job opportunities that are less physically demanding but pay the same as their pre-injury position
- Job opportunities that meet their physical restrictions but are not considered “dangerous positions”
A job change could impact the amount of compensation you are awarded weekly. However, if you find a new job that pays the same as your pre-injury position did, you could expect your workers’ compensation benefits to be terminated, particularly if you have reached maximum medical improvement (MMI).
Before you accept a new position or enter your new career field, there are important considerations to keep in mind. These include:
- If you go back to work too soon, it could have a significant impact on your ability to recuperate from your injuries and achieve MMI.
- If you go back to work before you have healed from your injuries, you could be at risk for secondary injuries or reinjury.
- Your employer may not be required to hold your position while you recuperate from your work injury.
- Your employer may not be required to offer you alternative job responsibilities.
These factors and more could have a substantial effect on your decision to accept or reject a new or second job. When in doubt, be sure to contact your workers’ compensation attorney for legal guidance and support.
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Can You Return To Work On Light Duty?
If your physician clears you for light-duty work, you may be able to go back to work and continue receiving your workers’ compensation benefits.
However, your existing benefits could be reduced to account for the income you will be receiving when you go back to work. It is important to report these wages to the insurance company, or you may risk being accused of insurance fraud.
Meet With A Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today
If you are currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits and are hoping to start a new job, it is important to consider how your benefits could be affected.
Before you start your new position, make sure to contact your workers’ compensation lawyer at Farmer & Morris Law, PLLC for help. You can call our office or fill out our convenient contact form.