If you are receiving workers’ compensation benefits, you may wonder if you can do freelance work at the same time. Being off work or earning less money can be financially difficult, and freelance work can help make ends meet. But you may not realize the consequences for your benefits.
Will Your Benefits Change If You Do Freelance Work?
When you get injured at work, you may receive several different kinds of benefits. The most common is medical benefits, which pay for your treatment and follow-up appointments. Medical benefits should not be affected by doing freelance work unless the work goes against your medical restrictions.
Many workers also receive wage loss benefits, which make up for not earning wages while on leave or earning lower wages because of the injury. Wage loss benefits in Minnesota are based on your average weekly wage before you were injured. They should take into account significant overtime that you worked, and even variable wage rates if you do not earn the same amount every week.
Working a second job or changing jobs to do only freelance can affect your wage loss benefits. You must tell the insurance company about your freelance work so that it can factor your additional income into the amount of benefits you receive. As a result, your benefits may be reduced. If you were doing freelance work before the injury, you also need to tell the insurance company.
However, if you change jobs to only do freelance work, your benefits might increase or stay the same depending on how much money you earn. If you are receiving vocational rehabilitation benefits, which may include help finding a new job, you could discover that freelancing makes more financial sense with your skills. This may be especially true for workers with physical work restrictions or who can only work a few hours a week after an injury.
If You Are in Financial Trouble
Your priority after a workplace injury should be healing so that you can return to work if possible. Financial difficulties may affect you during this time. If you are considering freelance work to make ends meet, talk to a lawyer. You may not be receiving all the benefits that you deserve – for example, your wage loss benefits might not account for the freelance and overtime you did before the injury. In addition, you may qualify for vocational rehabilitation to help you get back to work.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.