Many people who are injured at work find themselves looking for new employment while still recovering from injuries. This may be to earn added income while unable to return to work. Or it may be to look for a new career path altogether.
There are many reasons this can happen, and it leaves many workers wondering about the future of their workers’ comp benefits. Can you work at another job while accepting workers’ compensation in Maryland?
The experienced workers’ comp team at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC wants to help you understand your rights and obligations when it comes to working while accepting benefits. Let’s look at a few commonly asked questions about workers’ compensation laws in Maryland.
Key Questions Answered Below:
- Can I get a new job while receiving workers’ comp benefits?
- Can I drive for DoorDash, Uber, or another company while on workers’ comp?
- Can I get vocational rehabilitation as part of my workers’ comp benefits?
- How much does it cost to hire a workers’ comp lawyer in Maryland?
Can I Get a New Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Wondering if you can work a second job while on workers’ compensation?
A part-time job might seem like a good way to earn supplemental income, but it might not be the best idea. Although there is no law in Maryland preventing you from quitting or seeking new employment at your will, your decisions can, in fact, impact your workers’ compensation benefits.
First of all, it’s important to know that you are required by law to report any income you earn outside of your regular job on your workers’ compensation forms. If you are making money on the side and not reporting it, you may be found guilty of workers’ compensation fraud.
But let’s say that you do everything aboveboard and report your earnings. This, too, may adversely affect you, as your wage compensation may be reduced or stopped in consideration of your additional income. Also, your ability to work another position may be seen as an indication that you’re physically capable of returning to work and no longer in need of benefits.
In short, we advise you to speak with a lawyer before getting another job while on workers’ comp. A consultation at Belsky & Horowitz, LLC is a good way to learn more about how best to move forward in your situation.
Can I Do DoorDash While on Workers’ Comp?
This is a common question for injured out-of-work employees to ask.
Companies like DoorDash, Uber Eats, Grubhub, other food delivery businesses, and even rideshares like Uber and Lyft offer drivers an opportunity to make some quick cash on the side. The work may be much less physically demanding than your previous position, making it an appealing option to many injured employees looking for some extra financial help. Plus, as a driver, you are considered an independent contractor, not an employee of the company.
So does this mean you can do DoorDash or Uber while accepting workers’ comp benefits from your full-time employer?
Well, the same logic that applies to getting another job holds true for being a food delivery or rideshare driver. Legally, you must report the earnings or risk committing fraud. And reporting your earnings may also change the amount and type of benefits you receive through workers’ comp.
Remember, going out on your own to earn extra money—through any means—while accepting workers’ compensation might jeopardize the benefits you’re receiving. But there is a benefit offered through the Maryland Workers’ Compensation Commission that can help you transition to a new job.
Can I Get Vocational Rehabilitation as Part of My Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Yes, qualified workers in Maryland can get vocational rehabilitation as part of their workers’ compensation benefits.
Voc rehab is training for a new job when you can’t return to your old job due to a work-related injury. This allows you to get guidance on finding a new career while you’re on workers’ comp from your previous employment.
Through this benefit, you work with a specialist who can assist you in:
- Job testing
- New job placement
- Vocational counseling
- On-the-job training
The process typically begins with a meeting with a vocational counselor who assesses your education and professional background, physical abilities and limitations, interests and hobbies, and other factors that can help determine a suitable job for you. After determining a plan and goals, it must be approved by the Commission, and then you can pursue new job leads.
You must meet certain qualifications in order to be a candidate for vocational rehab workers’ comp benefits. The primary qualification is that you must have suffered an injury that prevents you from returning to the job you held at the time you were injured.
If you have questions about the process of looking for new employment while accepting workers’ compensation benefits in Maryland, please contact our law firm for a case evaluation to discuss your options.
How Much Does It Cost To Hire a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer in Maryland?
Going through the workers’ compensation process alone can be intimidating, especially when you are in a financial bind that requires you to look for extra work.
We understand how difficult this period of time can be. That’s why we never charge for workers’ compensation case consultations at our law office. We don’t want your financial status to stand in the way of your ability to obtain quality legal advice.
Meet With Belsky & Horowitz, LLC Today
Are you ready to discuss your case with a lawyer from Belsky & Horowitz, LLC? An experienced Maryland workers’ compensation lawyer from our firm can offer solid, reliable, and effective legal guidance.
Schedule your consultation today. We can help you figure out your options at no cost to you.
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