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What are the rules for when you can start a new job after receiving workers’ compensation benefits in SC?
Will you lose your benefits if you switch jobs?
In this article, we will discuss what happens if you change to a new job while receiving workers’ comp benefits, including:
You can start a new job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, but it may complicate your workers’ comp case, and you should consult with your workers’ compensation attorney before making this decision.
If you change to a new job, it most likely will not affect your medical benefits, but it could affect your wage benefits if it is determined that you can return to work at full capacity.
Your medical benefits should follow you to any new job – if you were injured at work, your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance pays for your medical expenses, including:
What about your wage benefits? Are you still entitled to a regular check from workers’ comp if you take a new job and return to work?
The answer depends on the circumstances. If you can return to work on “light duty,” and your employer offers you a light duty assignment at a reduced wage, 1) you must accept the light duty assignment but 2) you will still receive wage benefits for the difference between your normal wage and the light duty wages.
If you switch to a new job that offers you a light-duty assignment, you should still be eligible for wage benefits for the difference in the new wage and your previous wages, but your previous employer may argue that you are no longer entitled to workers’ compensation benefits because you are now able to work…
What about permanent partial or permanent total disability?
If you have reached maximum medical improvement and are cleared to return to work, changing to a new job should not affect your final settlement, but…
You should wait until you 1) are cleared to return to work or 2) have received your final settlement before starting a new job to ensure that you are not giving your previous employer’s insurance company an excuse to refuse to pay your settlement.
Depending on your situation, you may want to consider waiting until you have fully recovered before starting a new job because:
Can you take a second job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits to help make ends meet?
You could take a second job, but:
Can’t you just work “under the table” to help make ends meet?
You can’t, because 1) it is illegal to work “under the table” without reporting your income on your taxes, and 2) you must report your income to the insurance company if you are receiving workers’ comp benefits – if you do not, you could be arrested and prosecuted for insurance fraud.
Rest assured that the insurance company is doing everything possible to limit their financial exposure – including hiring private investigators to follow claimants and record them working at a second job or engaging in activities that are inconsistent with their reported injuries.
You must report all income and consult with your workers’ compensation attorney before deciding whether to begin working at a new job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
Your workers’ comp attorney on the Axelrod team can answer your questions about the effect of starting a new job while receiving benefits based on your unique circumstances. We are also available to help you prepare and file your workers’ comp claim and to represent you in any appeals before the Workers’ Compensation Commission and courts.
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