Accepting a new job, while on workers' compensation

Many people who suffer a work-related injury are unable to perform the same job. As a result, they may experience difficulty making ends meet and might look for a new position. Others may seek a new job that is safer so they can avoid being injured again, or they may be interested in pursuing a position in a new field.

If you are collecting workers’ compensation benefits and are considering a job change, you should discuss the potential new job with your workers’ compensation lawyer and your doctor. You may wish to avoid taking a position that could interfere with your benefits.

Discuss Job Restrictions and Accommodations with Your Doctor

If you are considering a job or career change, you may be eligible to continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits after you take a new position. Before accepting a new job, you should ask for a detailed job description and discuss the job requirements with your doctor. Ask your healthcare provider about any restrictions on your ability to perform the new role, and whether you would need to request any accommodations in order to perform the new job.

Accepting a new job that requires you to be healthy and able-bodied could result in the Division of Workers’ Compensation declaring that you are no longer disabled and terminating your benefits.

If your doctor says that you are able to perform the job, you should discuss with your employer any limitations on your performance and any accommodations that will be necessary in order for you to perform your new role. You should also notify the DWC about your new job and provide information about what you will be doing, how much you will be paid, and any limitations or accommodations that will be required.

How A New Job Could Impact Your Workers’ Compensation Benefits

You are legally entitled to change jobs anytime you want, even if you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, any job change could affect your weekly benefit amount and, in certain circumstances, could result in termination of your wage loss benefits.

If you are considering taking a new job while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, understand that:

  1. Your benefits cannot be cancelled solely because you changed jobs;
  2. Your benefits cannot be cancelled if you take a light duty job that pays a reduced salary;
  3. Your benefits cannot be cancelled solely because you take a lesser-paying job.

However, you should also understand that accepting a new job while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits will likely have an impact on the amount of wage loss benefits that you receive. And if you accept a new job that pays more than your old job, your wage loss benefits could be terminated. If you take a job that pays less than your old job, the additional income could result in a reduction of your wage loss benefits. If you take a job and do not report the additional income, you could face criminal charges for insurance fraud.

Taking a new position while you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits should not change your medical benefits. However, the DWC may require that you see a doctor a few times a year in order to continue receiving your benefits.

Impact of a New Job on Settlement of Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

If you are seeking a final settlement of your workers’ compensation claim, it might be beneficial to remain employed with the same employer until your claim is resolved. But every case is different and you should discuss your particular situation with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney.

Taking a New Position with the Same Employer

In many cases, your employer will offer you a less-physically-demanding job within the same company. You may be asked to perform many of the same tasks as in your old job, or you may be transferred to a different department and asked to perform tasks that are completely different from what you used to do.

While many employers are able to offer light duty jobs to employees who were injured at work, they are not required to do so. If your company does offer you a different position in the same or a different department, you should check with your doctor to make sure you can perform these tasks safely and without risk of additional injury.

Considerations Before Taking a New Job While on Workers’ Comp

If you are considering taking a new job and are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, remember that going back to work before you are fully recovered could result in additional injuries. It could also slow your recovery or even prevent you from making a full recovery.

You should also remember that your employer is not required to hold your job for you. Once you make a full recovery, you could find that your old job is no longer available.

If you have not yet fully recovered from a work-related injury, you will want to avoid another injury and should not take a job that you will be unable to perform.

The Vander Laan Law Firm: Peace of Mind for Your Financial Future

If you suffered a workplace injury and need a workers’ compensation attorney, look no further than the Vander Laan Law Firm. Natalia Vander Laan proudly fights for the rights of injured workers throughout the Carson Valley including Minden and Gardnerville, in and around Carson City, and in Stateline, Nevada.

Ms. Vander Laan helps people navigate the complexities of the Nevada workers’ compensation system and provides her clients with peace of mind, secure in the knowledge that their claims are being handled professionally by a lawyer who will look out for their best interests and seek to maximize their financial recovery.

If you were injured in a workplace accident and have questions, the Vander Laan Law Firm has answers. The Vander Laan Law Firm handles workers’ compensation cases on a low contingency fee, which means no fee is owed unless the Vander Laan Law Firm recovers money for you. If there is no recovery, there is no fee.

Learn more about Natalia Vander Laan’ unique approach to workers’ compensation law, then contact the Vander Laan Law Firm today to schedule a consultation to discuss your case.