Rules About Working While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
The rules about working while on workers’ comp vary depending on the severity of your injuries and the type of benefits you are currently receiving through workers’ compensation. For example, if you have only suffered a minor injury and are able to return to work in a slightly less demanding role, you may be able to work in this position while still receiving some workers’ compensation benefits. In situations like this, if you are working in a lesser capacity you will most likely be receiving lower pay than you were in your previous position. The benefits you receive from workers’ compensation (typically temporary partial disability benefits in this situation) can help offset the reduction in pay that you’re receiving due to your decreased working capacity.
If you are considering returning to work and are worried about the effect this will have on your workers’ compensation benefits, call (312) 487-2461 or contact us online to discuss your situation with our attorneys.
Can You Work Somewhere Else While On Workers’ Compensation?
Some people may wonder if they can go out and get a new job while on workers’ comp. For example, if you suffered a serious injury while working in a high-risk work environment such as construction, you may be contemplating a career change to help avoid similar incidents in the future. While your benefits cannot be canceled just because you change jobs, you do need to be cautious about what kind of work you take on and how that could affect your eligibility to continue receiving benefits. For example, if you’re receiving compensation for a back injury that prevents you from lifting heavy objects, you shouldn’t go out and take another job that requires heavy lifting as this could indicate that your injuries are not a severe as you led the Workers’ Compensation Administration to believe and could result in your loss of benefits.
Can You Work a Second Job While On Workers’ Comp?
Understandably, some people feel the need to get a second job in order to fill in the financial gaps where workers’ compensation benefits may be lacking. In some cases you may have already been working two jobs at the time of your injury. There are some situations in which you may be able to continue working that second job so long as it doesn’t aggravate your existing injuries or in some way imply that you lied about the type of injuries you sustained at your other job. For example, if you were injured while working in a warehouse and aren’t able to lift anything over 20 lbs, but you still have a secondary job answering phones in an office, you may still be able to continue working the second job without it interfering with your benefits.
Something else to keep in mind is that any additional compensation you receive via a secondary job could result in a decrease in the amount of workers’ compensation benefits you receive. You are also required by law to report any income that you receive while on workers’ comp.
What Happens If You Get Caught Working While On Workers’ Comp?
If you are found to be working in a capacity that discredits your work injury claim, you may be found guilty of fraud. This is an extremely serious charge and can result in felony charges, steep fines and even time in prison. The same is true if you are found to be lying about receiving additional income while on workers’ compensation. You can read more about Illinois’ laws regarding workers’ compensation fraud and related penalties here.
Obtain Representation for Your Workers’ Compensation Case Today!
If you’re unsure about whether or not your returning to work could affect your workers’ compensation benefits, the best thing to do is reach out to a professional workers’ compensation attorney to discuss your situation. Our team at McHargue & Jones, LLC can help you determine if you are in compliance with workers’ compensation regulations or if you may be putting your benefits at risk.