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Embarking on a New Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits – Is it Legal?

workers compensation solutions
workers compensation solutions

This article is intended to give injured employees some enlightenment about workers’ compensation benefits. 

Many employees who suffer from work-related injury consider looking for a new job or career for certain reasons. As a matter of fact, there are instances when an injured employee wants to take a new job because he wants to work in a lower-risk industry. In some situations, employees want a career change simply because their injury limits their capability to perform the tasks they do before the injury. 

In this article, we will answer possible questions about possible scenarios if an injured employee takes a new job or performs certain work for income while still receiving workers’ compensation benefitsfrom their current employer.

What will Happen to My Benefits If I Find a New Job?

From a legal point of view, you can change jobs any time you want even if you’re still receiving workers’ compensation benefits from your current employer. But even if you have the right to do so, you have the full responsibility to inform your company’s insurance carrier or workers’ compensation provider network anytime there’s a change in your employment status or wages. Moreover your decision to switch jobs is subject to certain laws which can affect the amount of weekly benefits you may receive.

Before you look for a new job while still receiving workers’ comp benefits, there are certain things you need to understand:

  • You are still entitled to workers’ comp benefits even if you change jobs
  • You can still receive workers comp benefits even if you accept light-duty work at a reduced salary
  • You’re still entitled to workers’ comp benefits even if you take another job with a lesser pay  

Now that you know that your benefits cannot be canceled if you find a new job while still receiving workers’ comp benefits, it is equally important that you understand its impact on the amount you may continue to receive.

It’s already given that an employee may still receive workers’ comp benefits even if you find a new job, but the amount you’ll get may no longer be the same as before you took the new job. Moreover, if your new job pays the same or higher than what you were making from your former employer, your workers’ comp benefits will stop.

You may ask your employer, their workers’ compensation provider network, or a workers’ comp attorney for the legal basis of this policy.

What Happens if I Take a Part-Time Job?

It is possible that some injured employees may take a second or part-time job to fill the financial gap their injury has caused to their earnings. This too can possibly reduce the weekly amount you will receive. On the other hand, if you take a second job but do not report your income while you continue to receive workers’ comp benefits, you can be liable for insurance fraud. You should make this thing clear with your employer or their workers’ compensation solutionsprovider to avoid consequences.

Why Some Injured Workers Consider Taking a New Job

It’s not unusual for some injured employees to consider taking a new job or making a career change even if they’re still receiving workers benefits:

  • The injured employee finds a job with reduced exposure to certain risks, and the new job meets their attending physician’s recommended physical restriction. Yet the pay is the same. 
  • They take a new job simply because it meets their doctor’s physical restrictions, even though the pay is lower. 

An injured employee whose situation falls in the second scenario may still be eligible to receive partial workers’ comp benefits.

Factors an Injured Worker Should Consider Before Taking a New Job

As an injured worker, your reasons for deciding to embark on a new job while workers’ compensation benefits are valid and acceptable. However, before grabbing an opportunity for a new source of income, you should take time to weigh these things:

  1. A person who goes back to work before their full recovery exposes them to the risk of re-injury.
  2. Returning to work prior to full recovery can affect a sick or injured employee’s progress to recovery. 
  3. An injured worker’s employer is not legally bound to hold his job and wait for him to recover fully. It’s possible that the position would no longer be available once the injured worker is fit to return to work.  
  4. The employer of an injured worker is not legally bound to provide the latter with alternative work.

These are the things you should seriously assess before taking a new job after an injury. Given the fact that your employer is not obligated by law to hold your position or provide you with alternative work, it only implies that it’s perfectly alright to find a new job even if you are still receiving workers’ comp benefits. You only need to make sure that your risk for re-injury is no longer present once you decide to work, and be sure to report your income to your employer or its workers’ compensation provider network.

If your treating doctor declares that you are already fit to return to work, it would be the best time for you to move forward and regain your productivity and capacity to earn.

If you’re an employer, make workers’ compensation give the best results for you and your injured worker. Let Direct Pay Provider Network, a trusted workers’ compensation solutions provider, make it happen for you.

 Call us at (866) 214-5920.

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