Is It Illegal To Work While Receiving Workers’ Compensation?

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Occasionally, mishaps occur while on the job. More than 2.7 million injuries sustained on the job were reported across the country in 2020, as stated by data compiled by the Bureau of Labor Statistics, an agency under the jurisdiction of the United States federal government. Workers’ compensation rules in Washington ensure injured workers get the medical care they need and the lost wages they deserve if they are hurt.

When an injury prevents an employee from working, workers’ compensation steps in to help make ends meet. This begs the question: Is working while receiving workers’ compensation possible? The answer to this question depends on several criteria; nonetheless, you must always disclose your job status and earnings to either the Department of Labor and Industries or the self-insured company. Workers’ comp lawyers in the state explain how to balance your benefits with working through their website.

Benefits Of Workers’ Compensation Insurance

  • Healthcare Protection

Workers’ compensation covers medical costs and lost time from work. All “proper and necessary” medical treatment is covered by WAC 296-20-01002 for injured workers. In other words, workers’ compensation will pay for your treatment if it is medically necessary, help you recover from your accident, and is consistent with standard practices. Returning to work does not terminate your workers’ compensation medical benefits. As long as your medical care is appropriate and required, you will continue to receive coverage.

  • Gains In Efficiency

Many people with workplace injuries need to take time off to heal. Injured workers in Washington can file a workers’ compensation claim to get compensation for lost wages. Time loss benefits are often awarded at a rate of two-thirds of a claimant’s pre-injury earnings, up to the maximum weekly payment allowed by law.

The purpose of receiving time-loss benefits is to compensate for missed wages due to an injury. In the state of Washington, you will not be eligible for time loss benefits if you can go back to work at your prior employment while maintaining your previous wage. Injured or sick workers might receive these payments to help make up for lost wages. Workers with injuries but continue earning pre-injury wages are not eligible for time-loss payments.

Even after returning to work, certain employees may still be eligible for time-loss compensation. For instance, you might be obliged to switch to a less strenuous role after sustaining a work-related injury. The Department of Labor and Industries in Washington defines light-duty labor as “work your employer may offer within the parameters of your medical restrictions for you to perform while you recover.” Light-duty work may represent a transition to a new career path. Light-duty work means fewer hours or fewer responsibilities at work.

The problem is that it is only sometimes possible to make as much doing the light-duty job as one did before an accident. Loss of earning capacity (LEP) benefits are available under workers’ compensation even if a worker is restricted to light duty and earns less due to a work-related injury. Your LEP compensation from employment should assist in bridging the difference. Our Washington workers’ compensation attorney is here to answer any questions you may have about TTD and LEP benefits, as well as light-duty assignments.

Worker’s Compensation Fraud Due To Undisclosed Employment Or Earnings

You must record the specifics of your light-duty work to maintain your workers’ compensation payments for LEP. You have a responsibility to disclose your current employment status and income. Workers’ compensation applicants in Washington are prohibited from performing any work or earning any money outside of their approved claim.

It is considered fraud to get temporary complete disability payments from workers’ compensation insurance while working and without reporting that income. This is a critical situation. Washington State is taking a hard stance against workers’ compensation fraud. A person may incur legal consequences if they fail to record their employment or income.

Final Thoughts

Professional workers’ compensation attorneys are strong advocates for their clients in court. Respect for your rights is crucial. Workers’ compensation attorneys can answer any questions regarding returning to work while receiving benefits. Call or visit their website to schedule your free, no-risk case examination. They serve as regional representatives for workers’ compensation cases.