While workers’ compensation insurance can help to replace lost income for injured workers, it doesn’t fully cover your salary. Therefore, it’s not surprising that some employees want to know whether they can work while they collect workers’ comp benefits.
If your injury or illness prevents you from performing your regular duties, you will be eligible to receive a portion of your usual wages. For many people, this isn’t enough to live on comfortably and some look for a second job that they can manage even with their illness or injury. This is understandable. However, you should never take up another job before consulting a Coral Springs workers’ compensation attorney. You don’t want to risk losing your benefits.
Guidelines for Taking Up a Second Job
You may be able to work a second job and continue to collect workers’ comp benefits as long as:
- The second job is less physically demanding than the job for which you are receiving workers’ comp benefits
- The second job doesn’t make your injury worse
Let’s say you worked in a warehouse and your duties involved lifting heavy objects. You suffered a back injury in the course of your duties and you can no longer engage in frequent bending, heavy lifting, or standing for long periods. As a result, you can no longer work in your current role. In some cases, employers can accommodate injured workers in other areas of the business. Therefore, you may be able to get a desk job.
It’s not always possible to get alternative work at the same company so you may seek a job at another company that allows you to stay seated. You can likely take such a job while continuing to receive some benefits. However, you wouldn’t be able to take a job that requires you to physically exert yourself.
If you were already working a second job before you got hurt and that job was less demanding, you may be able to continue while you’re unable to work at your primary job. However, you should still talk to a Coral Springs workers’ compensation attorney to make sure you aren’t breaking any laws or jeopardizing your benefits.
Things to Keep in Mind If You Take a Second Job
It’s important to note that the insurer will likely adjust your benefits to account for the fact that you’re still earning an income. While this may not be ideal, it’s the most likely outcome. The other possibility is that your benefits will be revoked because you’re capable of working.
If you take or keep a second job that is equally physically demanding, you could land yourself in big trouble. If you say your injuries are preventing you from carrying out certain duties for your primary employer, you shouldn’t be able to perform the same or similar duties for another employer while continuing to receive workers’ comp benefits. Not only could your payments be discontinued if you’re found out but you could face criminal charges for fraud. If convicted, you could be fined, made to pay restitution, or even jailed.
Ideally, you should stay out of the workforce while receiving benefits and give yourself time to recover. It may be tempting to hide and take an unofficial second job. However, there are several ways in which your employer or their insurer may find out what you’re up to. If anyone sees you or hears about what you’re doing, they could easily call in an anonymous tip. You may even be captured in a photo or video that gets posted online by someone who doesn’t know about your situation.
If you fail to disclose that you have a second job or you neglect to report your earnings, you may be accused of workers’ compensation fraud so you need to take the reporting requirement seriously.
Consult a Coral Springs Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Today!
It is always a good idea to seek the advice of an experienced Coral Springs workers’ compensation lawyer when you suffer a workplace injury. If you want to do some type of work even though you can no longer perform your primary duties, you need to make sure you’re acting within the law and not jeopardizing your eligibility for benefits.
Whether you had two jobs before you suffered an injury or you’re thinking about getting a second job now, we can advise you on what to do. We’ll let you know what your options are and what’s the likely outcome of each action. Contact Work Injury Rights to schedule a consultation and get personalized advice.