Having a second job is possible while receiving workers’ comp benefits, but it’s essential to disclose this information to the insurance company. Remember that the income from the second job might affect the amount of your workers’ comp payments, and transparency is key to complying with regulations and ensuring accurate compensation.

You can engage in part-time, light-duty, or modified work if it aligns with your doctor’s approval. However, working full-time may jeopardize your workers’ comp benefits

If you continue working while receiving benefits, it involves reduced hours or light-duty tasks tailored to your current capabilities, ensuring you receive medical benefits and compensation for lost wages. Be cautious, as persisting in your regular job without necessary accommodations could lead to the termination of your benefits by the insurance company.

What Is Light-Duty Work?

Light-duty work refers to less physically demanding or strenuous tasks than your regular duties. It is often assigned to employees recovering from an injury or medical condition who may not be able to perform their usual job functions at full capacity. (Learn more on What Injuries Are Covered By Workers’ Compensation?)

Light-duty work accommodates the employee’s physical limitations while providing a transitional phase for their return to full employment. This can include tasks with reduced physical exertion, limited lifting requirements, or modified responsibilities to ensure a safer and more manageable workload during recovery.

Some states, such as New York and California, actively promote the provision of light-duty and transitional roles by employers to support workers in retaining their positions during recovery. However, the availability of such opportunities can differ based on the state’s commitment and investment in these initiatives. This means that the likelihood of finding suitable light-duty work may vary depending on your location and the local emphasis on accommodating employees with physical limitations.

How To Get Light-Duty Work?

Getting light-duty work often involves collaboration between you, your employer, and your healthcare provider. Some important points to keep in mind while securing light-duty work are as follows:

  • Medical Evaluation: Consult with your healthcare provider to determine your current physical capabilities and any restrictions on your work activities.
  • Communication with Employer: Discuss your medical evaluation with your employer and express your interest in returning to work in a modified capacity. Provide details about the type of light-duty tasks you can handle.
  • Understanding Job Roles: Work with your employer to identify or create light-duty job roles that align with your capabilities. This may involve temporarily adjusting your regular tasks or taking on different responsibilities.
  • Agree on Accommodations: Reach an agreement with your employer on reasonable accommodations and modifications to make the workplace suitable for your abilities.
  • Documentation: Ensure that the modified job roles and accommodations are documented in writing. This can serve as a reference point and protect your rights.
  • Regular Check-ins: Maintain open communication with your employer and healthcare provider to assess your progress and adjust as needed.

Remember that the process may vary based on your state’s regulations and employer’s policies.

Can You Refuse Light Duty On Workers’ Comp?

If your employer provides suitable work aligned with your doctor’s recommendations and you decline, it may jeopardize your workers’ comp benefits. However, you are not obligated to accept tasks that contradict your doctor’s advice or treatment plan. 

Demonstrating a sincere effort to collaborate with your employer, in line with your state’s workers’ comp regulations, is crucial for maintaining financial support and medical benefits.

Salary Continuation Programs While Working On Worker’s Comp

In some states, like Ohio, a unique arrangement called salary continuation allows employers to retain you in your original position at your pre-injury wages. 

While you’ll be taxed on these earnings, it provides full pay, unlike workers’ comp benefits, which usually cover up to two-thirds of your regular wages. If faced with the choice between payroll continuation and lost-wage benefits, seeking advice from a workers’ comp lawyer can help you navigate the most advantageous path. (Learn more when I should hire a workers compensation lawyer?)

How Do You Plan Your Finances If You Cannot Work While On Workers’ Comp?

Navigating your finances while on workers’ comp can be challenging. Start by understanding your workers’ comp benefits and any additional resources available. Create a budget to manage your expenses and prioritize essential needs. 

Explore options like disability insurance, Social Security Disability, or other assistance programs. Consult with a financial advisor to develop a comprehensive plan tailored to your situation, ensuring you can weather the financial impact of being unable to work.

Need Help With Workers Comp Benefits? Contact An Attorney

A workers’ comp attorney can guide you through the complexities of your case, helping assess if working is feasible. They’ll consider medical evidence, consult your doctor, and ensure you make informed decisions that won’t jeopardize your benefits. Their expertise ensures you navigate the worker’s comp laws while safeguarding your rights.

FAQs On Workers’ Compensation Benefits

Continuing to work while on workers' comp is possible but may impact your benefits. Report all work hours and income to the insurance company, as it could lead to adjustments in your compensation.
The number of hours you can work on workers' comp varies. Typically, it involves part-time or modified-duty work, and exceeding certain limits might affect your benefits.
While on light duty, working overtime may be restricted. Your doctor's recommendations and the insurance company's policies play a role in determining how much work is permissible.
The hours allowed on light duty depend on your doctor's approval and the specific restrictions the insurance company sets. It's usually a limited, tailored workload to accommodate your recovery.
Quitting your job while on workers' comp can complicate matters. It's advisable to consult with a workers' comp lawyer to understand the potential implications and explore the best course of action. (Learn more on What To Do if Your Workers’ Comp Claim is Denied?)