Is it possible to receive worker’s compensation and work part-time?

The insurance system that compensates employees for work-related injuries and illnesses is called worker’s compensation. Worker’s compensation can help you take care of medical expenses and lost wages while you’re recovering.

In cases where a worker has a permanent disability that prohibits him from working, worker’s compensation will reflect that in the amount awarded to cover not only for current medical treatment and other bills but also for future lost income that the worker could have earned had he not been injured.

But what happens when a worker can still work part-time or be put on light duty? Is it possible to receive worker’s compensation while working part-time?

Wage Loss Benefits

One of the many benefits that an injured worker has is wage loss benefits. This basically means that an employee who has been injured but has since recovered enough to be able to return to work will be compensated the difference between his salary before the injury and his salary after the injury.

If an employee can return to work in full capacity or he finds another job where his salary is equal or greater to the salary he received before the injury then he no longer can receive wage loss benefits. But in cases where an employee can return to work on a part-time basis, worker’s compensation benefits may cover up part or all of the difference. This varies from state to state however.

Depending on State Laws

Like other areas of legislation, the laws responsible for regulating worker’s compensation vary from state to state. This applies to rules for wage loss claims as well.

Take for example Louisiana, where a worker who is receiving compensation benefits cannot obtain another job while he is on the benefits. However if he is able for light duty, he may work, provided that the income earned is reported to both the employer and the workers’ compensation insurance provider.

Another example is New York where the law states that an employee who returns for full-time work is eligible for worker’s compensation for absences from work linked to the injury. The only condition is that he files a claim for “intermittent lost time.”

Worker’s compensation is a fairly complex area of the law and there are many factors that influence whether you can receive wage loss benefits or not. It is best to consult a personal injury attorney to know what your options are.