Understanding Your Benefits After a Workplace Accident Can Be Difficult. Our Boston Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Can Help.
“Nearly 4 out of 10 Americans (37 percent) have a side job,” according to a study conducted by Bankrate. Maintaining a side job is not uncommon in our society today. While a second job can be beneficial for those who need to make extra revenue, many individuals who are receiving workers’ comp wonder if it will impact their benefits.
If you or a loved one suffered an injury while on the job, you have a legal right to workers’ compensation. While these benefits are available for injured workers, it can be challenging to file a claim. A Boston workers’ compensation attorney can review your case and help you understand your benefits.
At Jim Glaser Law, we know that an injury can impact your life and damage your capability to pay for your living expenses. For this reason, we have provided information about what options are available under workers’ compensation and how having a second job can affect your benefits.
What Coverage Is Available Under Workers’ Comp?
Workers’ compensation is an insurance program that distributes benefits to injured workers in order to help cover their medical expenses. Your benefit amount is based on your average weekly wage (AWW).
If you had more than one job at the time of the accident, calculating your benefits will differ compared to an injured worker who has one employer.
Every state has its own laws regarding workers’ comp benefits, which is why it’s imperative to understand what’s offered in the state you reside. In Massachusetts, there are several different types of benefits provided to injured workers. The severity of your injury will determine which benefits you’re able to receive.
Below, we have outlined some of the benefits available for injured workers:
Temporary Total Incapacity Benefits
- You qualify for this benefit if your injury or illness leaves you unable to work for six or more full or partial calendar days.
- The days are not required to be consecutive.
- You can receive 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage for the 52 weeks prior to your injury date.
- The state’s average weekly wage (SAWW) at the time of your injury is the maximum amount you can receive.
Temporary Partial Incapacity Benefits
- If you’re able to work but earn less because of your injury or illness, you may qualify for these benefits.
- This may include any injury that forces you to take a lower-paying job or work fewer hours.
- The maximum weekly benefit is 75 percent of your weekly total temporary benefits. (Temporary total benefits are 60 percent of your gross average weekly wage).
To learn more about the types of benefits available after a work-related injury, click here.
Can You Work a Second Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
After a workplace accident, your monthly income may decrease. In order to ensure your living expenses are covered, you may be tempted to take a second job. However, taking on a second job while receiving workers’ compensation benefits is not permitted.
Workers’ comp benefits are intended to provide supplemental income to injured workers who are unable to fully perform their job duties after their accident. If you decide to take another job while obtaining benefits, it will likely be determined that you are capable of working your current job, or some other type of employment.
In some cases, injured workers may be permitted to complete light work, but you must report the income you receive. Failing to report your income can result in civil and/or criminal prosecution.
What If You Have a Second Job?
There are some cases where an injured worker held a second job before their workplace accident. This is known as concurrent employment.
If you had a second job before your accident and it is not as physically demanding as your primary job, your doctor may grant you permission to continue working that job. However, your workers’ compensation benefits may be adjusted since you’re able to perform some type of work.
When injuries completely prevent you from working both jobs, the workers’ compensation system will calculate both of your incomes and determine your temporary disability benefit amount. Keep in mind that concurrent wages can impact the amount of benefits you may receive.
Understanding your benefits can be challenging, especially if you have more than one stream of income. For this reason, it’s in your best interest to consult an experienced Boston workers’ compensation attorney.
Failing to Report Income
Some injured workers make additional income without reporting it to avoid having their benefit amount adjusted. If you take on another job while receiving benefits and fail to report that income, it’s considered insurance fraud.
Insurance companies are fully aware that some injured workers do not report additional streams of income. For this reason, they will investigate any case where they suspect a worker is committing fraud.
If you’re caught committing fraud, you could potentially lose your benefits and face legal charges.
Contact Our Law Firm Today
An experienced attorney who is familiar with workers’ compensation laws can help you navigate the complex system. At Jim Glaser Law, we believe injured workers should receive the benefits they deserve as a result of a workplace accident.
Filing a workers’ compensation claim and ensuring you receive the benefits you’re rightfully owed is not always a straightforward process. If you or a loved one needs assistance after a workplace injury, call our Boston law firm today at 781-689-2277, or fill out our form to request a free case evaluation.