Maintaining a side job is not uncommon in our society today, as “nearly 4 out of 10 Americans (37 percent) have a side job,” according to a study conducted by Bankrate. 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’ve suffered an injury while at a job, you have a legal right to workers’ compensation. While these benefits are available for injured workers whose income is limited, it can be challenging to know how to file a claim with your other income sources.
At Jim Glaser Law, we know that an injury can impact your life and damage your ability to maintain your living expenses. Continue reading to find out if you can work a second job while collecting workers’ comp benefits in Massachusetts.
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) earned through the job where you were injured.
No matter how many jobs you are working, every state has its own laws regarding workers’ comp benefits, which is why we recommend consulting a lawyer who has years of experience working in your state. In Massachusetts, there are several different types of benefits provided to injured workers with more than one job.
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).
You can visit the official Massachusetts website to learn more about the types of benefits available after a work-related injury.
Can You Work a Second Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
After a workplace accident, your monthly income may decrease from lost working hours during your recovery. If you were not already working a second job at the time you were injured, you may be tempted to take a second job to cover your living expenses. However, taking on a second job while receiving workers’ comp 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 prove that you are capable of working your current job, or some other type of employment and therefore will disqualify you from workers’ comp benefits.
In some cases, injured workers may be permitted to complete light but limited work, which may still qualify you for benefits. In this case, you must report the income you receive. Failing to report your income can result in civil and/or criminal prosecution.
What If You Already 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 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 a 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 are working another job while receiving workers’ comp 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.
Have Questions About Your Injuries? Jimmy Knows!™
Jim Glaser is an experienced Boston attorney who is familiar with Massachusetts workers’ compensation laws and can help you navigate the complex system. At Jim Glaser Law, our team believes injured workers should receive the maximum 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, contact Jim Glaser Law today at 781-689-2277 or fill out our online form to get a free case review. Jimmy Knows!™