Can I Start a New Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits
Legally Reviewed and Edited by: Terry Cochran
Workers’ Compensation is a scheme that provides medical benefits, cover for lost wages, and rehabilitation benefits for workers who suffer a work-related injury.
If you are injured at work, you should inform your employer immediately. The employer should then notify the insurance company carrying their workers’ comp insurance. The insurer pays 80% of the lost wages to employees, and their medical bills are paid directly by the insurer to the medical service provider.
If you have been injured at work, you need to understand the law relating to a workers’ comp claim. The experienced and skilled workers’ compensation lawyers at Cochran, Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help guide you through the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim so you receive the compensation you deserve for your injuries.
What are Workers’ Comp Benefits?
The Workers’ Disability Compensation Act governs workers’ compensation law. These claims are limited to payments to make up for the loss of wages, the cost of their medical treatment, and vocational rehabilitation. Rehabilitation may include helping workers return to their jobs or finding a different position with a new employer.
Should a Worker Return to the Job Before They’re Fully Recovered?
A worker may not be fully recovered but still be expected to return to work. For instance, an employee has been judged at a medical assessment to have reached maximum medical improvement. In those circumstances, the worker will be expected to return to work, even if the new job is not the same work they did before the accident.
Does an Injured Worker Have to Accept a Job Offer?
If the worker’s employer or anyone else offers them a job they can perform, the employee has to take the job or lose their benefits. Sections 301(5)(a) and 401(3)(a) say that if a former employer, the Michigan Employment Security Commission, or a new employer makes an offer of reasonable employment, the employee has to take it or lose their benefits.
This does not have to be a role that’s compatible with the employee’s training and qualifications. It just has to be a job that the worker can do, is within a reasonable distance from their home, and does not threaten the employee’s health.
What Happens if the Worker Does Not Think They Can Do the Job?
This is often an area of contention and must be dealt with on a case-by-case basis. Usually, a doctor’s view of the employee’s capabilities determines what work can or cannot be completed. An employer may offer the employee light-duty work that their physician deems they can perform safely.
Workers should not be coerced into doing a job that will cause them further harm. If the employee tries the job and can’t do it, the benefits will continue or recommence. However, if the worker refuses the job, it is open to the employer to challenge the employee’s right to continue to receive disability benefits.
Does Their Employer Have to Offer Them a Job?
There is no legal requirement for the employer to offer the employee work, but many employers find accommodating a return to work more cost-effective than retraining a new employee. However, there are still some injured employees who are left to find a new job elsewhere.
If you do look for and find a new job, consider that:
- If you earn more in the new job, your benefits may stop
- If you take a job contrary to your doctor’s orders, your benefits may stop
Contact a Dedicated Workers’ Comp Lawyer About Your Claim Today
Navigating a return to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits can be complicated. Some employers and their insurance companies will strenuously fight compensation claims.
If you have been injured at work, you need legal advice on your rights and pursue your claim successfully. Our dedicated workers’ compensation attorneys at Cochran Kroll & Associates, P.C. can help you get all the compensation you deserve.
Our contingency fee basis means we only get paid if we win your case, so there is no financial risk to you to get started. Call our law firm today at 866-MICH-LAW and schedule your no-obligation, free case evaluation.
Disclaimer : The information provided is general and not for legal advice. The blogs are not intended to provide legal counsel and no attorney-client relationship is created nor intended.