Suffering an injury on the job may hinder you from performing the same work you did before, but it does not mean you must give up all employment. If you wish to work another job while on workers’ comp, you should understand your legal obligations and right to protect your access to benefits.
The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Moebes Law in Atlanta, Georgia, understand the complexities of the workers’ comp system and will guide you through the process. Contact us to get started.
Can an Injured Worker Keep Working While Receiving Workers’ Comp Payments in Georgia?
In Georgia, an injured worker can continue working while receiving workers’ comp payments. However, the type of job you do and the amount of money you receive will impact your claim. Working more than one job is common for many Georgians, and some companies have rules against employees taking on additional work while working for them. Therefore, your employment and claim details can vary drastically from others.
The workers’ comp program protects injured workers who cannot perform their duties because of an injury sustained at work. These benefits cover medical expenses and lost income during recovery. Holding a second job says that you have some ability to work and receive some income beyond your workers’ comp benefits. Consider a few ways you can work elsewhere while on workers’ compensation and under what circumstances you may lose benefits.
How It Might Impact Your Benefits
There are three common scenarios in which people continue working after sustaining a work-related injury:
- Working reduced hours on light duty while receiving benefits: Your employer may offer you reduced hours in your old position, modify the responsibilities and requirements of the job or offer you a different position. If you refuse any work that falls within the restrictions set by your healthcare provider, your employer will likely terminate benefits.
- Working another job while on workers’ comp: If you already had a second job when the workplace accident occurred, you may be able to continue working that job, but your duties cannot exacerbate your injury. The income you receive from the second job may decrease the amount of your benefit payments.
- Changing jobs while on workers’ comp: If you quit and take on another job after a workplace injury, you may still receive benefits if your new job pays less. However, your former employer may terminate disability benefits and wage replacement if you earn more in your new position.
This is not a comprehensive list of potential scenarios under which you may collect workers’ comp and still work. For example, if your employer offers you light-duty work that exceeds the restrictions placed by your doctor, you would likely not lose benefits for denying the work. A workers’ comp attorney can help you break down the details of your case and ensure your employer is fair.
How Can You Protect Your Rights While on Workers’ Comp?
Your actions while receiving workers’ comp benefits can harm or protect your eligibility and rights. To ensure you continue receiving payments as long as possible, consider these tips to stay compliant:
- Follow your doctor’s treatment instructions, including getting adequate rest and not working when it would aggravate your injury
- Be forthcoming if you work somewhere else while on workers’ compensation
- Be honest with your doctor about your symptoms to avoid going back to work too early and risking another injury
- Talk to an attorney before doing or saying anything that could jeopardize your ability to collect benefits
Failing to report a second job can hurt you financially, even if it pays less than your benefits, is only temporary, and does not affect your injury. If your employer finds out, they may accuse you of committing workers’ comp fraud.
When Might You Need the Help of a Workers’ Comp Lawyer?
Under certain circumstances, you may need legal advice to ensure you receive adequate compensation during your recovery. Some situations where an attorney can help include:
- When reporting the injury to the insurance company, your employer misrepresents how the injury occurred.
- You suffer partial or total permanent disability, preventing you from ever performing your job duties again.
- Your employer terminates your benefits because you have a second job, but the other job does not pay as much.
- The insurance company offers a settlement that does not cover all medical expenses and lost wages.
- Your employer retaliates against you for filing a claim or taking on supplemental income.
If someone other than your employer contributed to your workplace injury, you can step outside the no-fault workers’ comp system and file a lawsuit against the negligent party. An attorney can walk you through the steps.
How a Workers’ Comp Attorney Can Help You
When you hire a legal representative to handle your worker’s comp claim, their tasks can vary. However, they will generally handle everything from communication with your employer to investigating your accident. In addition, they help guarantee you meet all workers’ comp deadlines required by Georgia law and will adequately value your claim to ensure you receive fair compensation for your losses.
The paperwork for a workers’ comp claim is tedious, and even minor mistakes could slow the process or invalidate your claim. An experienced attorney can deal with all administrative work for you while you focus on healing. Remember, your employer has access to a legal representative when handling workers’ comp claims. You deserve this protection, but waiting too long to reach out could harm your claim. Moebes Law offers no-obligation consultations, so you can get the information you need without a financial commitment.
Do You Work Another Job While on Workers’ Comp and Have More Questions?
Every workers’ comp case has nuanced circumstances, and the terms are sometimes complicated in Georgia. If you have questions about your ability to work another job while on workers’ comp, you can turn to an experienced attorney at Moebes Law. We handle claims for many types of occupational injuries and will help you understand Georgia workers’ comp benefits as they apply to your case. Contact Moebes Law to schedule a free case evaluation today.