Suffering an injury on the job in Columbia and navigating the workers’ compensation system can be difficult enough but figuring out whether you can or should return to work can be even more confusing. Columbia workers who are out of work due to an injury often ask, “Can I get a new or different job while on workers’ compensation?” This is a valid question, because you want to ensure that you don’t lose your eligibility for benefits by working, and certainly don’t want to put yourself at risk for workers’ compensation fraud charges.
The answer is yes, you can get a job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but there are a few conditions to keep in mind before you start job hunting. If you do return to work while on workers’ compensation and later have medical restrictions that prevent you from working your new job, it may be difficult to get temporary disability benefits. However, if you can find a job that accommodates your injury and restrictions, you should not have any trouble collecting workers’ compensation benefits. A knowledgeable Columbia workers’ compensation attorney can help you avoid any potential pitfalls in finding new employment.
Potential Risks of Returning to Work Too Soon
It’s understandable that you may want to return to work as soon as possible after an injury if you’re physically able to do so. After all, bills don’t stop coming just because you can’t work. However, there are a few risks associated with returning to work before you are physically or mentally ready.
One of the biggest dangers of going back to work too soon is that you could worsen your injury. This could set back your recovery, lead to additional medical bills, and make it even harder to return to work in the future. You also run the risk of invalidating your workers’ compensation claim if your condition worsens or deteriorates. Make sure that you’re actually authorized to work according to your condition, capacity, and doctor’s assessment.
Another thing to be aware of if you do take a different job is, that if your current employer is currently paying your workers’ compensation benefits, they could decide to investigate your condition to potentially reduce your benefits or cut them off entirely.
Still, another potential consequence is an insurance adjuster may alter the amount you receive as workers’ compensation relative to the income you earn at your second job.
It’s also important to be aware that when you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, there are some types of employment that may make it seem as though you were not hurt or are exaggerating your current condition.
Generally speaking, if your second job is less physically or mentally demanding than your original job, returning to work should not have any negative consequences on your workers’ compensation claim. However, if you’re unsure about whether you should return to work, the best course of action is always to consult with an attorney who can advise you based on the specifics of your case.
Consult an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney
Before making any decisions about whether to return to work, it’s best to consult with an attorney who handles Columbia workers’ compensation claims. These claims are typically complex, and The Law Office of Chris Miller can help you understand your rights and the potential risks and rewards of returning to work while on workers’ comp. We can also advise you as to what actions would prove detrimental to your claim, such as working without authorization or not following the proper channels for returning to work.
If you have questions or concerns about returning to work while on workers’ compensation, or to learn more about your rights, don’t hesitate to contact us right away for a free consultation.