Can You Work Another Job While on Workers’ Comp?
After you experience a work injury, you may recover well enough so that you feel able to go back to work at a less strenuous job than the one you worked at when you were injured. You may be wondering, Can you work another job while on workers’ comp? After all, you want to earn money, but you may be concerned about whether this is possible or if you will lose your benefits. You typically cannot work at a full-time job while receiving workers’ comp benefits. Instead, you may be able to work a part-time job, but this may jeopardize your eligibility for benefits if you are not careful. Further, you must report any earnings you receive to your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company. In most cases, the insurance company will reduce your benefits by the earnings you receive in your other job.
The laws around working while on workers’ comp are complex, and a misstep can jeopardize your right to receive benefits. Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo helps workers understand their rights and responsibilities under the law and has recovered over $1.5 billion on behalf of injured workers. Our Pennsylvania workers’ compensation lawyers can fight for your right to receive compensation and help you determine if working while on workers’ comp is advisable in your situation.
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Have Questions About Working Another Job While on Workers’ Comp? Talk to an Experienced Workers’ Comp Lawyer
If you’re unsure about the rules about working while receiving workers’ compensation, talk to an experienced attorney to see what your options are.
Watch the video below and read on to learn how employment may jeopardize your workers’ comp claim. If you still have questions, use our site’s live chat to ask us a question or call us at 844-243-4843 to speak to a workers’ compensation lawyer.
Can You Work Another Job While on Workers’ Comp?
You may be able to work at another job while receiving workers’ comp from your other employer. But it can jeopardize your right to receive workers’ comp and may reduce the benefits you receive. Injured workers receive benefits because they are not physically able to perform their jobs. If they start working at another job while receiving workers’ comp from their employer, it sends mixed messages and may cause the insurance company to second-guess whether the worker is eligible for benefits. However, there are partial disability cases where employees are able to work part-time, though this may affect benefits and can sometimes jeopardize the claim.
Can You Work a Part-Time Job While on Workers’ Compensation?
In some cases, you may be able to work a part-time job while on workers’ compensation, but it may not be advisable in your situation. If you overexert yourself, it can increase your recovery time or put you at risk of re-injuring yourself. Additionally, since you need to notify your employers’ insurance company about your part-time job, they may reduce the benefits you receive by how much earnings you make. In other cases, they may deny your claim because they believe you are ineligible.
Pennsylvania law requires all employers to purchase workers’ compensation insurance to ensure employees who suffer a work injury receive benefits to cover their lost wages and medical expenses. There is no predetermined timeframe for an illness and injury. The insurance company calculates the amount of wage loss benefits you are to receive based on the injury’s impact on your ability to perform your job and whether you suffer from a permanent or partial disability.
Many employees who suffer work injuries experience a partial disability where they cannot perform their original job, but they can perform light-duty work while they recover. In that case, the employee can return to work with a modified workload. Or they may be able to work on a part-time basis for their current employer or another employer.
It is important to think carefully before accepting another job while receiving workers’ compensation. It may be in your best interest to work with your employer to develop a light-duty or modified workload so you can return to work without forfeiting your benefits. Your workers’ compensation package may cover the difference between what you can earn now and what you did earn before the injury. But going back to work may result in a denial of benefits. A workers’ compensation lawyer can help you understand your rights and give you specific advice about your situation to help you maximize your benefits.
What Are the Rules About Working A Second Job While Collecting Workers’ Comp?
Working at another job or getting a new job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not always a good idea. One reason is that it may convince the primary employer that the injured worker can return to work and no longer requires benefits.
But workers who do work a second job while collecting benefits should accurately and timely report their earnings to their employer. Failure to do so may qualify as workers’ compensation fraud, which carries hefty civil and criminal penalties.
Ultimately, whether a person should begin working part-time depends on the specific circumstances of their case and the type of work they are doing. Let’s say a warehouse employee injured their shoulder while loading inventory and is not able to continue working in a job that requires lifting. In that case, they may be able to collect workers’ compensation while working as a part-time cashier, which does not require lifting.
In these situations, it is more difficult for an employer to convince an insurer or the workers’ compensation board that the employee has completely healed and no longer requires benefits. This is especially true if the employee is earning less than they did prior to the injury.
It is important to note that if an employee accepts a job and begins making more money than they did before the injury, they may be ineligible to continue receiving compensation for lost wages. Because this area of the law is incredibly intricate, it is critical to understand your legal rights before taking action. An attorney can review your situation and determine the best course of action under your circumstances.
Who Is Ineligible to Receive Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania?
Those who have an employment relationship with a company are eligible to receive workers’ compensation. When an employee suffers an injury on the job, they may be eligible to collect benefits through Pennsylvania’s workers’ compensation program.
Almost all employers must provide coverage for their workers, although certain employees are exempt from coverage, including:
- Volunteer workers,
- Exempt religious institutions,
- Exempt executive officers,
- Independent contractors,
- Agricultural laborers, and
- Domestic employees (those who work in someone’s home).
Federal employees are also exempt, as they are covered under a separate workers’ compensation program.
In certain cases, even employees who usually qualify for coverage may be disqualified from receiving compensation benefits. For example, those who purposely cause their own injuries while at work are not eligible to receive workers’ compensation benefits for their injuries. Additionally, employees who suffer injuries while breaking the law or acting outside the scope of their employment may also be ineligible. Further, employees who file fraudulent claims or do not follow the income reporting rules may be ineligible to receive benefits.
What Are the Rules About Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits in Pennsylvania?
To receive workers’ compensation benefits, the injured employee must follow specific rules in reporting the injury and meeting their ongoing compliance obligations.
Employees must report their injury to their employer within 120 days after the accident or from when they realized the injury was work-related. People with progressive injuries or degenerative conditions may have additional time to report the injury. The longer an employee waits to report an injury, the harder it usually is for the insurance company to approve the claim. Further, waiting longer to report the injury may impact the amount of benefits the person can receive.
If a claim is approved, an injured worker may be eligible to receive up to two-thirds of their average weekly wage, in addition to reimbursement for medical expenses. But the length of time that an injured employee can continue to receive workers’ compensation depends on the severity and type of injury. Those who suffer a total permanent disability may receive benefits based on a predetermined schedule rather than a percentage of their pre-injury wages.
After the employee receives benefits for 104 weeks, an insurer can require the recipient to undergo an impairment rating evaluation where a treating doctor assesses the injured worker’s degree of disability. Depending on the degree of the person’s disability, they may continue to receive benefits as previously ordered, or the insurance company may reduce the length of time they are to receive benefits. While receiving compensation, the worker must keep their employer up to date on their progress, regularly attend their injury-related doctor’s appointments, and report any wages they receive from other sources. Failure to do so can jeopardize their eligibility for benefits.
What You Should Know About Receiving Additional Income While Receiving Workers’ Comp
Under workers’ compensation laws, injured employees who receive benefits must report any income they earn to their employer’s insurer. For example, if a person worked at a single job, they only need to report the salary from that source. However, if they have two jobs and suffer an injury while working at one of them, they would need to report both sources of income, even if the second job is only part-time.
Pennsylvania law typically requires insurance companies to take into account all sources of income received by the employee. They may use this figure to calculate the employee’s total benefits. When an employee suffers a work injury, they may be eligible to receive up to two-thirds of their combined weekly wages from both jobs.
While receiving benefits, the injured party must immediately notify the insurance company if they are able to work on a full or part-time basis. The company may adjust the benefits accordingly to account for the additional income. If the worker’s wages exceed the maximum amount of allowable income, the employee may become ineligible for workers’ compensation benefits.
An Experienced PA Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help You Understand the Rules About Working While Receiving Workers’ Comp
You may be able to work part-time or in a reduced capacity while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. But doing so may put your claim at risk or reduce your benefits. Further, you put yourself at risk of worsening your injuries or suffering a second injury. This area of the law is complex and contains many exceptions and requirements. Before you accept a job offer or begin working again, it is important to do so carefully with a full understanding of the legal consequences.
Krasno Krasno & Onwudinjo can help you navigate the nuanced Pennsylvania workers’ compensation process to help ensure you get the support you need while also being able to live a full life. We take a collaborative approach to our cases and assign each client a team of professionals, including a workers’ compensation attorney, a medical coordinator, and a client care coordinator. Our goal is to help you maximize your benefits and get effective medical treatment for your injuries. Andrew Onwudinjo has been fighting for injured workers for over 30 years and tirelessly fights to help restore workers’ dignity after suffering a work injury.
If you suffered a work injury and have questions about your legal rights, call our firm today at 844-243-4843 or contact us online to schedule a free, no-obligation consultation. Our firm takes all workers’ compensation cases on contingency, meaning you do not pay any upfront legal fees for us to handle your claim.