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Can You Work While on Workers’ Compensation?

If you’ve been injured or have become ill on the job, you know how important it is to avoid doing anything that might jeopardize your potential workers’ compensation claim. Generally, that means you’re not working and avoiding other strenuous activities. But what if you have two jobs, or there’s another situation in which you either want or have to work while drawing workers’ compensation benefits?

Workers’ compensation cases can be extremely complex, so it’s always a good idea to have an experienced and informed workers’ compensation attorney help you out. The law firm of Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, has almost 40 years of combined legal service, and we want to help you with your case.

To schedule your free initial consultation, call us or visit our contact page.

How Long Does It Take for Workers’ Compensation Benefits to Kick In?

The time factors in workers’ compensation cases mean that you should start the filing process as soon as possible. Unfortunately, it could be weeks or months after you file for workers’ compensation before you start receiving benefits. Hiring an attorney with experience handling workers’ comp cases can speed up the process.

Once you have notified your employer about your injury, they have 21 days to notify the Georgia Board of Workers’ Compensation, kicking off the formal claims process. It may take some time for the board to reach its decision, and if your claim is denied, filing an appeal will take even more time.

Georgia law says that the appeal hearing must be set for at least 30 days after the appeal form (called a WC-14) is filed, but it must be within 90 days of the form being filed. However, more time may be needed depending on the time necessary for both sides to complete the evidence discovery process.

Under What Conditions Can I Work and Receive Workers’ Comp at the Same Time?

In most circumstances, the regulations governing workers’ compensation require that you not work in order to keep receiving benefits. This is to keep you resting so you can heal, or at least not aggravate your existing injuries. However, there are some circumstances in which you could work and still receive workers’ comp benefits.

The most common of these situations is when your doctor clears you for light or modified duty after you’ve been injured. If your employer can modify your duties so that you can do some work, you can do so while still receiving some workers’ compensation benefits.

If I Have Two Jobs and Was Injured at One, Can I Work at the Other While Drawing Workers’ Comp Benefits?

Another situation in which you might be able to work while still receiving benefits would be if you had two jobs that involved unrelated tasks and abilities. If the two jobs are dissimilar and the injury you sustained impacts one job but not the other, you may be able to collect workers’ comp benefits while still working the other job.

Being allowed to work while collecting workers’ compensation benefits is generally the exception to the rule. To see if your situation might allow you to work while receiving workers’ comp benefits, speak to a workers’ compensation attorney.

If I Switch Jobs, Can I Still Keep My Workers’ Comp Benefits?

If at all possible, you should stay with your employer through the duration of your workers’ compensation claim. This will minimize any potential issues with your benefits. However, if you’re thinking about leaving your job while you are receiving benefits, it’s important to know which benefits you’ll keep and which ones you could lose.

There are several different types of workers’ compensation benefits: Wage replacement benefits, medical treatment benefits, and disability benefits. If you switch jobs while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you will keep your medical benefits, assuming your doctor determines that you still need treatment. However, you will not receive wage replacement benefits, and you could lose your disability benefits as well.

Can My Employer Fire Me If I Am on Workers’ Comp?

As Georgia is an at-will employment state, your employer can fire you without cause except in certain limited circumstances. This means there’s no legal reason that an employer can’t fire you if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. But your employer can’t fire you because you filed for workers’ compensation.

Once you start receiving benefits, there are certain regulations that could give you a limited amount of protection. A workers’ compensation lawyer can more fully explain what these rules are and how they work in your individual circumstances.

Can I Receive Both Unemployment and Workers’ Compensation Benefits?

You can apply for unemployment benefits while receiving workers’ compensation benefits, within certain restrictions.

In Georgia, when you apply for unemployment benefits, you have to affirm that you’re able to work and report where you have applied for a job. If you’ve been placed on total work restriction by your doctor, you aren’t able to work and should not be applying for unemployment benefits. Similarly, if your doctor has placed you on limited work restrictions, make sure you’re applying for jobs that meet those restrictions.

It’s also important to note that applying for unemployment benefits may mean that your employer’s insurance carrier gets a portion of that benefit. It will depend on the facts of your case. A workers’ compensation attorney will be able to tell you more.

Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Law Firm Today

Get specific answers to your individual questions about working while on workers’ compensation. At Adamson & Cleveland, LLC, our attorneys have the experience and drive needed to see your case through. The sooner you contact us, the sooner we can get started on fighting for what you’re entitled to.

Schedule your free initial consultation today by calling us or by visiting our contact page

kevin adamson

Kevin Adamson is a former college baseball player who brings a competitive spirit to personal injury trials and settlement negotiations. Kevin played baseball at LaGrange College and went on to earn his MBA from Lynchburg College and his J.D. from Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law. Since 2001, he has focused on personal injury law and secured numerous six- and seven-figure results for his clients. He is also a registered arbitrator and mediator with extensive experience handling contract negotiations for a variety of professional services, including athletic contracts. Kevin also owns his own airplane and makes frequent use of it for his law practice, which has taken him to 18 states.