If you have suffered a workplace injury, you may wonder if you can continue to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The answer for many people is yes – although you should be aware of how working affects your benefits.
When People on Workers’ Comp Continue to Work the Same Job
Sometimes an injury doesn’t prevent an employee from working, or he or she only has to take a short time off work. If so, then the employee should return to the workplace and continue doing his or her job as usual. The employee can still receive workers’ compensation benefits in the form of covered medical expenses. However, the employee will not get wage loss benefits (except for any time off work) because he or she is working the same job.
But often, injured workers return to work with some type of restrictions on activities or job duties. For example, your doctor might tell you that you cannot lift more than 20 pounds or that you need to take a break from your desk every 20 minutes. Many workplaces make a genuine effort to accommodate workers injured on the job. Others, though, claim that accommodations are impossible or that a worker can no longer complete his or her job duties.
If you have medical restrictions and aren’t being accommodated properly, you may struggle to fully return to work. Consider talking to a lawyer and asking for vocational rehabilitation services to enforce your rights.
When People on Workers’ Comp Have to Change Jobs or Work Fewer Hours
Employees who can physically return to work but cannot physically complete the same job or the same number of hours may need workers’ compensation benefits to make up the difference. For example, an employee could get injured so severely that he or she could not meet the job requirements even with accommodations. Or the injury might limit his or her ability to work overtime or more shifts.
Workers’ compensation benefits can compensate injured workers for wage losses suffered as a result of work injuries. These benefits pay the difference between an employee’s average wages before the injury and afterward. The calculation should take into account regular overtime, commissions, and other types of wages.
Further, vocational benefits can help workers who must change jobs find the right industry or career. Qualified rehabilitation consultants (QRCs) assist employees in the job search and identifying jobs that meet their restrictions. If you will continue working after your injury while on workers’ comp, you have many options.
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.