Can I Pursue Another Career While Receiving Workers' Comp Benefits?

Sep 23, 2021

Worker compensation

Can I Pursue Another Career While Receiving Workers' Comp Benefits?
Sometimes, employees sustain injuries while working at their workstations. Depending on the severity of these injuries, some end up being unable to work temporarily or permanently. In such cases, the employer is obligated to pay the victims what is known as workers' compensation benefits. Sometimes, the injured employees might desire to work again, even if it is in a lower-risk capacity. At other times, they may consider changing their career, especially if their injuries impede them from working in the same capacity they used to. In this guide, we will discuss what would happen to your compensation benefits if you decide to pursue another career.

Will My Benefits Continue After I Change Jobs?

You can change jobs when you want, even while you receive compensation benefits from a former employer. However, doing this will likely affect your benefits regardless of whether the new job is full-time or part-time. If you are considering working in a different industry or capacity, you need to understand the following:
  • First, your benefits can't be canceled just because you switched employment
  • Secondly, your benefits can't be canceled if the new job involves less risk and pays less
  • Finally, your benefits can't be canceled if the new job is different from your current one and pays less
While changing jobs won't necessarily stop your benefits, it will impact the amount you will receive. That is, your pay rate will reduce, and you will be paid less than you ordinarily would. Further, if the new job pays as much as your current job, the benefits will be stopped altogether.

What If the New Job Is a Part-time Job?

Understandably, you may need to take new jobs to account for the financial gap the compensation benefits are unable to fill. However, regardless of the reason behind your decision, your benefit payment will reduce. To prevent this from happening, you can decide not to report any income you receive. However, this will make you guilty of insurance fraud, which is punishable by law.

Why Injured Workers May Change Their Jobs

Injured workers still receiving compensation benefits usually consider a job or career change for several reasons. These include:
  • They found a less risk taking job that pays the same and meets the doctor's recommended physical restrictions
  • They found a job that meets the doctor's recommended physical restrictions and enables them to progress even though it pays less
If your reason is any of the above, you might remain eligible to receive partial compensation benefits.

Factors to Consider Before Starting a New Job

Several injured workers often find new jobs appealing for different reasons, both financial and personal. However, starting a new job comes with many risks and disadvantages. These include:
  • Returning to work before you fully recover makes you prone to a reoccurrence of your injury
  • Returning to work early could impact your recovery progress or even prevent your full recovery
Keep in mind that your employer is not legally mandated to save your job for you in these instances. Consequently, your position may already be taken over by the time you make a full recovery. Additionally, your employer is not legally required to offer you an alternative position. So, ensure you heal entirely before starting a new job, or you will lose on both ends. If you are currently facing such a scenario, we can help. At Abatelli Insurance, we are always available to talk more about your options. Contact us today to learn more!