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Can I Apply for a New Job While on Workers' Comp?

Law Office of Michael J. Orlando Jan. 28, 2022

If you have been hurt on the job, workers’ compensation may reimburse you for your medical bills and cover a portion of your lost wages. Many injured workers who receive workers’ compensation benefits are unable to return to their job until they recover from the injury. Some workers may want to apply for a new job while receiving workers’ compensation.

The problem, however, with seeking employment while on workers’ compensation is that it could potentially affect your benefits. That is why you need to consult with a workers’ compensation attorney in Beaverton, Oregon, to discuss how taking a new job might affect your benefits. At the Law Office of Michael J. Orlando, we help workers throughout Oregon—including Beaverton, Portland, Eugene, and Salem—navigate the workers’ compensation system.

Can I Apply for a New Job While on Workers Compensation?

While the answer to the question is technically “yes,” getting a new job while receiving workers’ compensation could affect your benefits. In some cases, applying for a new job could result in the loss of workers’ comp benefits, even if the employee is seeking employment with a different employer.

Under workers’ compensation law, workers must report their earnings to the insurance company that provides the benefits. If you go back to work and earn less than what you made before the workplace accident, the insurer may still compensate for the difference between the earnings. However, failure to notify the insurance company of your new job could result in the termination of workers’ compensation benefits. The insurer would assume that you are earning more or the same amount at your new job.

What Should I Do If I Find A New Job I Want?

Before applying for a new job, consider speaking with an experienced attorney to discuss the potential consequences of taking a new job while on workers’ compensation. You should also consult with your doctor to determine if the new job is something you can do given your medical condition. Your doctor should inform you of any restrictions or accommodations you may need to perform the duties.

Additionally, you are required to notify your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company of the new position before you start working. Notify them of the job details, the expected earnings, and the date when you are expected to start working. The insurance company will most likely provide you with the necessary paperwork that you need to fill out and return to the company.

Penalties for Not Going Through the Proper Procedures

Going back to work or applying for a new job while on workers’ compensation is a tough decision to make. If you do not follow the proper procedures when taking a new job, you may face penalties. One of the requirements is to notify the insurance company of your new job and report your earnings. Failure to do so could lead to accusations of workers’ compensation fraud.

Misrepresenting your job status while receiving workers’ compensation benefits could be interpreted as fraudulent activity. People who commit workers’ comp fraud are subject to serious penalties, which include hefty fines or even jail time. Of course, penalties for workers’ compensation fraud depend on the facts of the case. Reach out to a skilled workers’ comp attorney in Beaverton, Oregon, if you are worried about failure to follow the proper procedures when applying for a new job.

How the Law Office of Michael J. Orlando Can Help

Navigating the workers’ compensation system can be complicated. Any mistakes you make while receiving workers’ compensation benefits could result in the loss of benefits. If you are considering applying for a new job or returning to work while on workers’ comp, our experienced attorney at the Law Office of Michael J. Orlando is here to help. Schedule a consultation with us to discuss your unique situation and understand your options.