Can You Look for a New Job While Collecting Workers Compensation?

Can You Look for a New Job While Collecting Workers Compensation?

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that some employees don’t want to go back to work after they’ve recovered from their workplace injuries. For some employees, they weren’t happy at their job in the first place. Being out on workers compensation gives them a chance to figure out what kind of job they do want to find. Other employees were perfectly happy at their job until their employer mistreated them. Our Atlanta workers compensation attorneys meet with clients all the time who feel their employers didn’t take care of them the way they should have after their workplace accident. This is especially true for clients whose workers compensation claims were denied.

If your employer denies your workers compensation claim, you’re going to feel hurt and maybe a little angry. We understand why you would feel that way. At the same time, their decision to pay or deny your claim is not a personal one. It is simply a business matter. Now, that doesn’t change the way you feel. However, you don’t want to make any hasty decisions and jeopardize your workers compensation claim. Once your employer or their insurance company catches wind that you’re interviewing for new jobs, they won’t be happy. They may look for reasons to terminate your claim. For example, if you miss one doctor’s appointment, they may argue that you aren’t participating with your medical treatment. Normally, missing one appointment wouldn’t be a big deal. But if they are looking for a reason to terminate your benefits, they will find one. This is why it’s a good idea to hire an Atlanta workers compensation attorney to protect your rights.

Many People Today Have More than One Job 

The truth is that a lot of people work more than one job these days. Some jobs don’t pay enough for a person to pay their bills. It may be necessary to work a second job. Usually, the second job is only part-time. If you tell your Georgia injury lawyer that you’re looking for a second job, they may not think much of it. After all, you could have done this even if you were at work and not out on workers comp. However, if you are entertaining a new job all together, it will raise some eyebrows on the part of your employer and their insurance company.

Is Your Second Job Similar to Your Primary Job?

One thing that will make the difference is how similar the new job is to your old one. For example, if your injuries were so bad that you don’t feel you can do your old job again, that is one thing. If, however, you take a new job that is almost exactly the same as your old one, your employer may decide to terminate your benefits. For example, imagine that your first job requires you to drive for a living. If you don’t think you can physically do that anymore, it would make sense to look for an office job. However, if you were a truck driver at your current job and you’re looking for another trucking job, it will be hard to convince your employer that they should continue with your benefits.

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Don’t Accept Any New Job Without Talking to your Atlanta Workers Compensation Attorney

One thing we suggest is that you not even think about taking a new job until you talk to your Atlanta workers compensation attorney. They can talk to your employer and feel them out. Its better to have an idea of what your employer will do if you announce that you won’t be returning to your position after you are fully healed. In our opinion, you are better off waiting until it is time to go back to work and then decide how you feel. Your Georgia injury lawyer will likely suggest that you go back to work for a little while and then decide whether you want to leave.

There is the Chance That Your Benefits Will Be Terminated

It’s important that you realize that your employer can terminate your benefits if you accept a new job. It’s one thing to look for a new position. It is another to accept it. If you make it clear that you have no intention of returning to your old job, don’t expect your employer to take it lightly. They aren’t going to want to continue paying your benefits if you are just going to leave. However, they can’t just terminate your benefits without good reason. Looking for a new job is not enough to justify a termination of your workers compensation benefits. If your employer does try to do this, you need to let your Atlanta workers compensation attorney know immediately. They will let your employer and their insurance carrier know that they will take the matter to the workers compensation commission if necessary. It may not be worth it to your employer to pay to fight the matter. They may simply wait for your workers compensation doctor to determine that you’ve reached maximum medical improvement and call it a day.

Your Georgia Injury Lawyer Will Steer You in the Right Direction

Whether you know it or not, your employer could be looking to replace you while you’re out on workers compensation. You shouldn’t feel all that bad, therefore, if you’re doing the same thing. Perhaps you don’t feel your employer treated you fairly after your workplace accident. Or you may have realized that you just don’t want to go back to your old job. There’s nothing wrong with that. However, if you don’t want to jeopardize your workers compensation benefits, you may want to hold off on accepting a new job just yet. Your Georgia injury lawyer will advise you of how best to handle the situation.

For example, you can look for a new job but not accept any offers until your workers comp case is closed. Or your Atlanta workers compensation attorney can let your employer know that you don’t intend to return to work once you’re healed. It all depends on the facts surrounding your case. It also depends on whether your employer wants you to come back after you’ve healed. For now, we suggest you contact our office and schedule your free, initial consultation with one of our Georgia injury lawyers. It won’t cost you a thing. Take the time to sit down with an attorney who knows the law in Georgia. They’ll help steer you in the right direction and make sure you protect your legal rights.