It is possible to search for a new job while receiving workers’ compensation? Accepting a job offer and beginning work may affect your eligibility for certain benefits, such as compensation for lost wages.
If you encounter any issues or disagreements regarding your benefits or job application, it may be helpful to seek the assistance of a workers’ compensation attorney.
While you are unable to work, workers’ compensation benefits can provide vital financial support.
These benefits may include coverage for medical expenses, such as transportation costs, two-thirds of your average weekly wages, and assistance for physical disabilities that prevent you from working temporarily or permanently.
It is essential to understand the potential effects on your benefits if you decide to apply for another job. Generally, it is acceptable to seek other employment opportunities while on workers’ compensation.
Will my benefits be affected if I secure a new job and start working?
The position of the law is that individuals have the right to receive weekly lost wage benefits until they can return to work. However, if an individual begins a new job, the NCIC may determine that the person’s condition no longer prevents them from working, which could result in the revocation of lost wage benefits.
Other benefits, such as coverage for medical treatment, may continue as long as the individual is still recovering from their original injury.
If you believe that your workers’ compensation benefits were unjustly terminated due to your job search or income, you have the right to challenge this decision. There are several actions you can take to contest the termination of your benefits.
1. Hire a Lawyer
A lawyer will assist you with filing a claim or challenging a denial. A lawyer experienced in workers’ compensation cases can help you fight for additional benefits by interpreting the insurance policy, providing legal advice, handling all paperwork and communications on your behalf, and defending your rights throughout the process.
2. Speak with your employer
If you face a dispute regarding the termination of your workers’ compensation benefits, your first step should be to approach your employer or their insurance company, depending on who decided to revoke your benefits. It is possible that the termination was the result of a misunderstanding or clerical error. By contacting them first, you may quickly determine whether your benefits were revoked by mistake and avoid the need for further action.
If your employer has legitimate reasons for ending your benefits, you can request a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) by completing Form 33 on their website. The NCIC frequently sends cases to a qualified mediator, as stated on their website, and the mediator attempts to reach an agreement by meeting with representatives from each party. The success rate of NCIC mediation is 70%.
If you have lost your workers’ compensation benefits due to job search or income earnings, you have the right to challenge this decision. Hiring a lawyer can help you to interpret your insurance policy and provide legal advice.
Before taking further action, you should speak to your employer or their insurance company to determine if the termination was an error.
If necessary, you can request a hearing with the North Carolina Industrial Commission (NCIC) by filling out Form 33. In most cases, a qualified mediator will work with representatives from each side to try and reach an agreement, with a success rate of 70%.
If mediation is unsuccessful, the case will proceed to a hearing where a Commissioner will hear both sides and determine whether to reinstate benefits.
Permanent inability to work
If you have become permanently disabled, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits for a set period based on the severity of your injury, ranging from Temporary Total Disability (TTD) to Permanent Disability. The length and amount of benefits will depend on the injury rating assigned by the NCIC.
A fatal injury
If you need to make a workers’ compensation claim on behalf of a loved one who died due to a work-related injury or illness, you can apply for death benefits. These benefits can help you pay for funeral and burial costs and replace the income your loved one would have earned if they had survived.
Workers’ compensation is intended to provide compensation for lost wages and medical expenses resulting from workplace injuries. However, it is not intended to prevent you from working entirely.
It is important to discuss your physical condition with your doctor before starting a new job. There are many reasons why you might want to continue working, including remaining active and healthy, progressing in your career, providing for your family, and avoiding boredom at home.