Changing Jobs While on Workers’ Comp: What You Need to Know
Filing a workers’ compensation claim can lead to a lot of different questions. Although your employer can’t fire you for filing a claim, you might still have other concerns, such as paying your monthly bills. You can take on a different job to meet your financial obligations, but you may lose all or part of your benefits in the process.
How Will a Job Change Affect Your Benefits?
Changing jobs is your prerogative. Although laws may vary from state to state, your employer’s insurance company will still have to pay for your medical benefits as long as you are being treated for work-related injuries. Thus, you can continue collecting your benefits no matter what company you are working for. However, before deciding to change jobs, it is in your best interest to discuss your plans with a workers’ compensation attorney, who can answer your questions and help you make the right decision.
Will Changing Jobs Affect Your Lost Wage Benefits?
Even though your medical benefits will remain intact, your lost wage benefits may not remain the same if you decide to change jobs. The benefit for lost wages is brought into play if you are unable to work at all or certain restrictions are put in place that lower your weekly wage to less than 80% of your original pay. If you start a new job that pays more than 80% of your original wages, your lost wage benefits will cease at that time. It’s important not to walk away from your original job too soon as it might cause your employer to claim that you cut ties or ended your relationship with them. This will cease their obligation to pay your lost wage benefits.
Ability to Perform Light Duty Work
There may be instances when you are allowed to work, but with restrictions such as working fewer hours or limiting how much weight you can lift. Most restrictions will remain in place until you have healed sufficiently and are able to perform your original duties without any issues. In most cases, your employer will have some type of work that you can do that will fall into the limits associated with your restrictions. In the instance that your employer doesn’t have any modified or restricted duty available and your claim is accepted, however, then you should receive workers’ compensation temporary disability. If you choose to take a different job, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney to ensure that it won’t cause your other benefits to cease.
Take Into Consideration Any Medical Restrictions You May Have
It’s important to be aware of your medical limitations and how they might affect your ability to work. When you are recovering from a work-related injury, follow your doctor’s orders and only work within the limits that are in place, as this will help ensure that your recovery is on track and you are able to return to work once you have healed completely.
Changing jobs while you are on workers’ compensation can be a tricky situation. Having a workers’ compensation attorney on your side is important when you are trying to find a way to support yourself and your loved ones post work-related injuries. Call our attorneys at Gaylord & Nantais today to get the answers you need to all of your workers’ compensation questions.