As an employee, getting injured on the job can be a stressful and overwhelming experience. It’s even more challenging when you’re unsure of your rights regarding workers’ compensation benefits and whether or not you can work while receiving them. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, we understand the complexities of workers’ compensation law, and we’re here to provide you with the information you need to make informed decisions.
The difference between returning to work at partial capacity an committing workers’ compensation fraud is less clear than you expect. You may wish to perform light duty or take on a part-time job while you heal from injury or temporary disability. The insurance company may see your return to work as justification to stop benefit payments. If you fail to report income from light duty or a part-time second job, you may commit work comp fraud. You and your workers’ compensation attorney must carefully navigate returning to employment carefully to maintain Colorado workers’ comp eligibility.
Can You Work While on Workers’ Compensation?
The answer to this question depends on the nature and extent of your injury, as well as the state you’re in. In general, if you’re able to work, you may still be eligible for partial workers’ compensation benefits. However, if your injury prevents you from working at all, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits.
Sometimes workers who sustain workplace injuries or illnesses do not discover the condition until they have moved on to another job. You may have an injury or illness that does not effect your current job duties but nevertheless requires treatment. You can file a workers’ comp claim against your previous employer even if you have a new job.
The Benefits of Working While on Workers’ Compensation
If you’re able to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, there are several benefits to doing so. Firstly, it can help you maintain your financial stability and provide a sense of normalcy during a challenging time. Secondly, it can help you stay connected to your job and industry, which can be valuable for your long-term career prospects. Lastly, it can help you maintain a sense of purpose and routine, which can be crucial for your mental health.
How Working Affects Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you’re able to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your earnings may affect the amount of benefits you’re eligible to receive. In most states, your benefits will be reduced based on your earnings, but you’ll still receive some compensation. It’s essential to speak with your employer and your workers’ compensation attorney to determine how your earnings will affect your benefits.
What to Do If You Can’t Work While on Workers’ Compensation
If your injury prevents you from working at all, you may be entitled to temporary total disability benefits. These benefits will provide you with a portion of your lost wages while you’re unable to work. It’s crucial to speak with your employer and your workers’ compensation attorney to determine your eligibility for these benefits.
What is Light Duty with Workers’ Compensation?
Light duty work is a form of modified duty that employers offer to injured employees. It typically involves performing tasks that are less physically demanding or are within the employee’s current physical limitations. This allows the employee to return to work while they recover from their injury.
If you’re able to return to light duty work, your workers’ compensation benefits will likely be reduced. The reduction in benefits will be based on the difference between your previous wages and what you’re currently earning while on light duty work. You will receive two-thirds of the difference between the two amounts. However, if your condition improves and you’re able to return to your previous role, your benefits will be restored.
Can You Work a Second Job While Taking Workers’ Comp in Colorado?
If you’ve been injured on the job and are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may be wondering whether you can work a second job to make ends meet. The answer is yes, but with some caveats.
The first thing to consider is whether your second job will interfere with your recovery. If your injuries are severe and your doctor has advised you to take time off work, it may not be in your best interest to take on additional work. However, if you are able to work and need the extra income, a second job could be a good option.
Another important factor to consider is whether your second job is compatible with your workers’ comp benefits. If the second job requires you to do the same type of work or requires the same level of physical exertion as your primary job, you may not be able to continue receiving benefits. This is because the insurance company may argue that you are able to return to your primary job.
On the other hand, if your second job is less physically demanding than your primary job, you may be able to keep your benefits. For example, if you work in a warehouse and have injured your leg, you may be able to continue receiving benefits if you take a desk job for your second job. It’s important to keep in mind that you must report any income you earn from your second job to the insurance company.
What if the boss pays you under the table at the second job?
If you worked two jobs at the time of your compensable workplace accident, you may be eligible for benefits from both jobs. An injury preventing you from working at full capacity with two employers could make you eligible for double work comp benefits. The insurance carrier for the job where the injury occurred may owe recovery for two-thirds of your average weekly wages between all sources of wages.
If your second job pays under the table, you must report this income to the insurance company when filing for workers’ compensation benefits. The Colorado workers’ comp statute requires you to report all income sources during the claims process. If you neglect to report income from another employment, even if it is off the books, you could be guilty of workers’ compensation fraud. Intentionally withholding this information can result in penalties including restitution, jail and fines.
What Does the Division Consider Worker’s Compensation Fraud?
Workers’ compensation fraud can be an intentional or even accidental act. Filing for Colorado workers’ comp benefits while receiving income from an unreported source is work comp fraud. An employee can unintentionally commit fraud through an accidental or unintentional act through ignorance of the law. For example, you cannot receive unemployment benefits and workers’ compensation benefits at the same time. Avoid making a difficult time worse by hiring an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to help you navigate the Colorado workers’ compensation system and receive the benefits you are due.
Consult with a Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be challenging, and it’s essential to understand your rights and options fully. At Front Range Injury Attorneys, our team of experienced Denver personal injury attorneys can help you navigate the process and ensure that you receive the benefits you’re entitled to. We can help you pursue a claim for workers’ compensation and make sure you remain eligible for benefits. Contact our Denver law office to schedule your free consultation.