The answer to whether you can look for work while receiving workers’ compensation can be complex. It depends on a few factors, including the severity of your injury and the doctor’s orders. In general, qualifying for workers’ compensation benefits requires you to be unable to complete your current job duties due to your work-related injury or illness.
The role of workers’ compensation benefits is to provide an injured employee with financial stability while they recover from an illness or injury. As such, getting back to work promptly is one of the key objectives of the program. Once you are able to return to your job in its full capacity, you no longer qualify for workers’ compensation benefits. Continuing to do so constitutes fraud.
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This means that even if you were to lose your position with your company for a reason unrelated to your injury or claim, you cannot look for work in a similar position and continue to receive coverage. Above all, you must follow the instructions of your doctor regarding the type of work you may perform while receiving benefits.
Working While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
In some cases, you may be able to return to work in a reduced capacity while still being covered under your employer’s workers’ compensation plan. After examining your injuries, a doctor can determine if and when this is possible.
If so, your employer can offer you a light-duty job. When returning to work in a lower-paying position, you can receive workers’ compensation benefits to make up for your diminished earning capacity.
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Termination While Receiving Workers’ Compensation
It is important to note that your employer may not terminate you because you filed a claim or are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, the company may use another reason to support the termination, such as prior issues or complaints.
In this event, you may be able to look for a different position that accommodates your injuries, though you will need to adhere to state guidelines and the instructions from your doctor. Looking for the same type of job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits may jeopardize your eligibility.
Listen to Your Workers’ Compensation Claim Doctor
The doctor who examines your injuries and issues a prognosis will play a key role in your ability to return to work. If you begin to look for work before your doctor permits you, you may be violating some of the terms of your workers’ compensation benefits.
If your doctor provides documentation that proves you are able to perform a new kind of work that is separate from your old position, then you can search for work within that domain.
A Lawyer Can Help You Understand Your Rights
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Speaking with a lawyer who accepts cases regarding workers’ compensation can help to clear up some of the confusion that you may face when looking for work while receiving benefits. For instance, if you take on a light-duty job but you are not receiving the benefits you should, an attorney can help. They may file a workers’ compensation hearing on your behalf and fight for your missing benefits.
An attorney can also help you if the Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation (SBWC) unfairly denies your claim. Workers’ compensation can be a complex program to navigate, and having an attorney by your side can help you proceed with an appeal.
Contact Bader Scott Injury Lawyers Today
If you are stuck wondering whether or not you are allowed to look for work while receiving workers’ compensation, know that you do not have to go through this on your own. A lawyer who focuses on worker’s compensation cases can help you understand the process and represent your position as they determine your eligibility for benefits and your ability to look for work.
A lawyer from the team at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers will help you with your workers’ compensation case. When we take you on as a client, we will address your questions and concerns promptly and work to understand the full scope of your injuries.
We will also communicate with your employer, their workers’ compensation insurance carrier, and any other parties related to your case. To learn more about how we can help you, contact someone in our office today at (404) 888-8888.