Technically, there are no laws barring you from taking a vacation while on workers’ compensation. You can go on a vacation or holiday if doing so does not impede your recovery or ability to return to work.
But before deciding to leave home for a vacation while on workers’ compensation, you may want to contact an attorney to ensure that doing so will not negatively affect your claim or result in you losing your benefits.
Is It Possible to Lose Workers’ Compensation Benefits by Going on Vacation?
Yes, you could risk losing benefits by taking an extended vacation during recovery. The employers’ insurance carrier could use the vacation as evidence to challenge the extent and severity of your injuries. They may also claim that going for a vacation shows you aren’t injured enough to return to work.
Specifically, an insurer can use the presence of the following elements to discredit your injuries:
- Rescheduling or not showing up to doctor’s appointments or rehab because you’re on vacation
- Not complying with doctor’s restrictions while on vacation
- Going on a long or short trip against your doctor’s orders
- Sharing pictures, videos, or social media posts showing you engaging in physically demanding activities
Insurance companies often send investigators to collect evidence against workers’ compensation claimants to deter fraud. They may also monitor your social media feed for any signs they can use to cast doubt on your injuries.
For example, photos on social media that show you engaging in physical activity, such as playing golf or climbing a mountain, may be enough for them to terminate your benefits. Thus, it is imperative to consult with an attorney to learn if the type of trip you’re going on can affect your specific workers’ compensation benefits.
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Can You Receive Vacation or Holiday Pay While on Workers’ Compensation?
If you got hurt at work, you might wonder what will happen to your holiday pay if you receive indemnity benefits through a workers’ compensation claim. The answer to this will differ according to the state you live in.
In Georgia, your vacation pay is separate from workers’ compensation pay. This means if your employer offers vacation pay, you should receive it as normal, and it will not interrupt your workers’ compensation benefits. If your employer is reducing or withholding vacation pay citing the workers’ comp benefits you are receiving, contact our Atlanta workers’ compensation benefits attorney to fight for your right to receive the vacation pay you’re entitled to.
Points to Consider If Taking a Vacation When Getting Workers’ Compensation in Georgia
You can do a few things to protect yourself from issues that could arise regarding your claim if you go on vacation.
- Plan a vacation that will not worsen your injuries: When choosing a location and activities for vacation, consider your injuries and the limitations they present as you decide. You do not want to worsen your injuries or affect your recovery. An insurance company will require an independent medical evaluation if your injury has deteriorated or if the medical outcome is different from expected upon your return. Your benefits can be terminated if an evaluator deems you did something on the vacation that hurt your recovery.
- Do not engage in incongruent actions with your reported injuries: When on vacation, only do what the doctor permits and what you stated you could perform when you were evaluated. You also want to ensure that anyone who sees you while on vacation, such as the hotel or resort staff, can tell that the activities you are engaging in align with the injuries you have suffered. For example, if you stated you couldn’t lift more than 15 pounds due to injury to your lower back, it will raise red flags if you go rock climbing or are in the gym weight training with heavy equipment. If the insurer finds out about this, they will use their resources to investigate the event further, and your benefits could be canceled.
- Try not to miss medical appointments: Missing medical or rehabilitation appointments can put your benefits at risk of getting canceled. Not showing up for a doctor’s appointment can signal to the insurer that you may have recovered and that your benefits can end.
If you take a vacation, ensure you can make scheduled medical appointments on time.
- Take a break from social media: A picture is worth a thousand words. They can also be quickly taken out of context and made to fit a different narrative than intended. Refrain from posting any content on social media, including tagging your location. Insurance companies are vigilant with monitoring. If they notice signs that indicate your injuries are not as severe as you claimed, they may suspect potential workers’ compensation fraud, which is a serious crime.
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Consult Our Georgia Workers’ Compensation Attorney Before Taking Vacation
Receiving workers’ compensation benefits doesn’t explicitly mean you cannot go on a vacation. But insurance companies want to ensure the benefits will go to only truly injured workers who cannot work. If they doubt the severity of your injury, it can put your benefits status at risk of termination.
Contact our attorney at Bader Scott Injury Lawyers for a free consultation before confirming your vacation plans. We will review your injuries and circumstances to ensure your trip decision won’t harm your workers’ compensation case.