Just like an employer can terminate your position while you’re receiving benefits, you can also change jobs while on workers’ compensation. Changing jobs while you’re receiving benefits is possible, but it’s important to know of the possible ramifications that may happen if you do switch positions. Finding a new job may sound like a great idea if you’re no longer able to perform at the same position you were working. Before you accept a new position, it’s important to consider all aspects before you switch.
Deciding to Change Jobs
Most employers are at-will employers, which means you can change your job any time, for any reason. You don’t have to worry about losing medical benefits coverage when you switch jobs while you’re on workers’ compensation. You’ll still receive all of the financial support to uncover your treatment and care, even if you’re working with a new employer. In addition, workers’ compensation benefits still apply if you move out of the local area to work with a different company.
You may have an opportunity to work part-time with a job that pays you under the table. Before you accept an offer to do so, consult with your attorney. There are some workers’ compensation cases where getting paid under the table can count as fraud and have legal ramifications for you.
What to Consider Before Your Job Switch
However, before you switch positions, you should consult with your current employer to see if there’s a job opportunity available to you. There are some companies who may offer light duty work or modifications to your previous job to keep you on the team. While an employer isn’t required to offer light duty work to an injured employee who’s receiving workers’ compensation benefits, there’s still a possibility the company may offer to do so. If the employer can’t modify your current position, there may be another position available in the company your experience would make you a great fit for.
Areas of Concern When You Change Jobs While on Workers’ Compensation
The only part of your workers’ compensation benefits that may be affected when switching jobs are a wage loss benefit. Every situation with wage loss benefits is different, so not every injured worker who starts working a new job will lose their wage loss benefits. If you’re wanting to go back to school, switch to being self-employed, or find a new job, consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.
The attorney you’re working with will give you insight into whether you’d completely lose the wage loss benefits or if the type of benefits you’re receiving will switch. For example, if you’re currently receiving total disability benefits, but end up accepting a new job offer, you still may be eligible to receive partial disability benefits.
When you go speak to an attorney, share all of the details about your injury, the benefits you’re receiving, and what type of new position you’re looking to accept. The laws around workers’ compensation cases are complicated and can significantly vary case by case.
What to Expect When You Change Jobs While on Workers’ Compensation
Navigating the workers’ compensation system by yourself can be very confusing. Having a misunderstanding of how things work can have a significant negative impact on your future employment opportunities and the benefits you’re receiving. Working alongside an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer will give you the opportunity to seek assistance on whether changing jobs really is the right decision for you and your family.
If you’re ready to seek out help to see if it’s a good idea to change jobs while on workers’ compensation, contact Mottaz & Sisk Injury Law today.