There are good reasons employees might look for another job after being injured at work. Sometimes they simply need to make ends meet while recovering or maybe they want work that is safer. Whatever the reason you may consider a new job, it is important to understand how it could impact your benefits - and your health.
If you got injured on the job, Greg Coleman Law is prepared to help you with your workers’ compensation claim. We are also prepared to help you understand your legal options if considering a different type of work. Our initial consultation is completely confidential and costs you nothing.
Impact on Your Benefits
Essentially, employees are eligible to receive payments to cover their medical costs and lost wages while they heal from their injuries.
Employees receive benefits to cover medical costs caused by any work-related injury. Whether you continue at your current job, accept a new job offer - or get fired, your medical benefits will likely continue as long as:
- The medical care is for injuries caused by your work accident
- Follow-up with your workers' comp doctor continues
- You follow your doctor's prescribed plan of care
Lost Wages if You Take Another Job
When your doctor determines that you are physically able to return to work, your workers' comp benefits will stop. This much is true whether you go back to your former job or take on a new one. However, if you are still recovering, there are situations where you may be able to work and receive some wage benefits, including if you:
- Accept an offer for light duty work from your employer - with a pay cut
- Take a new job that meets your physician's work restrictions - but pays less money
- Become partially disabled, but can do some work at a reduced amount of pay
It is important to note that any new job will likely only make you eligible for a reduced wage benefit.
There may be other situations where you can still receive partial or full lost wage benefits while working. Insurance carriers often determine eligibility on a case-by-case basis.
Risks of Taking on a New Job
There are many reasons to be cautious about going back to work too soon - especially because of the potential impact to your health. That said, sometimes people need to go back to work - with clearance from their doctor - for financial reasons.
Here are some of the risks you may face if you accept a new job offer - or go back to your old job - before your injuries heal:
- There is a greater risk of reinjury: Returning to work before you recover makes you more likely to suffer another injury or make your existing injuries worse.
- Your benefits could be reduced or terminated: If your second job pays the same as your former salary, benefits will not likely continue.
- Your employer and/or insurer may question the seriousness of your injuries: If your employer believes you are well enough to work, he or she may investigate you to see if you are not hurt as bad as you claim.
- Not all jobs are approved by workers' comp insurers: If an insurer believes a job to be questionable - or even illegal - they may investigate you.
Why Injured Employees May Want a Different Job
Employees may look for another job while collecting workers' compensation benefits for many reasons, such as:
- Since the lost income is only 80 percent of an employees pay, many cannot make ends meet on workers' comp alone
- Sometimes an employee may decide to find a safer, less hazardous job
- After an injury, a worker may want to find a new career that is less stressful
- When workers become disabled, they may want to find some type of work to fulfill them or help them return to a more normal life
Need Legal Help? Call for a Free Consultation Today
At Greg Coleman Law, we know how to build a strong case while pursuing the maximum amount for your injuries.
Our Knoxville workers compensation lawyers have extensive experience helping Tennessee workers who got injured on the job.
We have staff available to take your call anytime, day or night. Your initial consultation is completely free - and there is no risk or obligation for meeting with us. If we take your case, there are no upfront costs or fees while we represent you. We only get paid for our services if we obtain benefits for you.
Free Consultation. Learn more today: (865) 247-0080