Can I get another Job while on Workers Comp?

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Yes, you can change jobs while receiving workers compensation in New Jersey. Factors in the decision are the motivation for the change and the ability to perform the new position. Physical limitations from a work injury may prevent change. Also, any impact the new job may have on your workers’ compensation benefit.

Injured workers receiving benefits may want to find a new job or change careers. The reasons can vary depending on individual circumstances. Workers Compensation is a system to replace lost wages and provide medical treatment. And compensate injured employees for functional disability to a body part injured in the work accident. It is not a system to keep you from the workplace if you can otherwise safely function as an employee.

Why a New Job May Be Important?

Construction workers discussing ongoing work accident recovery of a fellow worker.

Financial Reasons

Workers’ compensation benefits can cover a part of lost wages. But they do not replace an individual’s lost wage benefits pre-injury income. In some cases, injured workers may need more than their comp benefits. Financial needs can be more than benefits payable. Financial need is particularly the case if they have dependents or other expenses. A new job can provide that extra level of income and financial stability.

Personal Circumstances

Work plays a vital role in many people’s lives. Work provides purpose, accomplishment, and social interaction. Injured workers may feel eager to return to work as soon as possible. They seek to regain these positive aspects of employment. A new job can offer the same. A sense of personal satisfaction and accomplishment. And an opportunity to contribute to society. A new job or career may be a safer alternative. For example, an aging worker can no longer handle a physically demanding former position.

Career Goals

An injured worker may use the time off to reassess their goals. The pursuit of a new job in a different field industry is possible. This pursuit can expand a worker’s skills, experience, and professional network. A new job can be relevant when a return to a pre-injury position is not possible. Not possible due to physical limitations or other restrictions of the work accident. The State of New Jersey, Department of Labor and Workforce Development, offers an excellent resource on career development in the Career Service portal.

Recovery and Mental Health

Returning to work is vital to healing. Engaging in meaningful work can help improve mental health. Also, well-being provides a sense of purpose and structure during recovery. A new job can offer a positive environment that fosters healing and personal growth.

Reduced Reliance on Workers' Comp Benefits

Injured workers may reduce their dependence on the work comp benefits by finding a new job. Reduced support can benefit the injured employee by promoting self-sufficiency.

An injured NJ worker may find a new job while receiving workers’ comp benefits. The reasons may include financial stability and personal satisfaction. Also, career development, recovery, and mental health are more reasons. Motivations may differ, but the desire to return to work and regain a sense of normalcy is a common thread. This is a thread that unites many injured workers seeking new employment opportunities.

What is the Nature of the New Job?

Carpenter’s first day on the job after recovering from a work injury at a prior warehouse job .

The prospect of a new job or career can be exciting. Consult your authorized treating physician before you decide on changing jobs while receiving workers’ compensation.  This is the doctor who is treating your work-related injury. The doctor will be familiar with your medical diagnosis. And your progress to date, including limitations you may have as a result of your workplace injury too.

Review the New Job Requirements

Inform your doctor about your intention to change jobs. Provide the doctor with new job details, including job duties and physical requirements. This information will allow the doctor to check whether the new job suits you. You must evaluate the new job in light of your current medical condition.

Know your work restrictions

Do you have work restrictions due to your injury? If yes, have your doctor provide clear and specific limits in writing. These limitations may include restrictions on activities. Activities such as lifting, standing, sitting, or performing specific job duties. You will need to provide these limits with your new or current employer. And workers’ compensation claims adjuster reflecting your new job fits your physical limitations.

Discuss any impact on medical treatment

Have your authorized treating physician review the potential impact of changing jobs. This review includes your ongoing medical treatment. You need to receive proper care for your work-related injury. A change of job should not interfere with that care.

Get Medical Clearance

Your authorized treating physician may give you the green light for the job change. Get written medical documentation. It should reflect that you can perform the new job within your limitations. This documentation is vital to protect your ongoing workers’ compensation medical benefits too.

What is the Impact on Your Work Injury Case?

Your workers compensation case remains current, pending a resolution. There may be an impact on your benefits by accepting a new job.

 

Modification of Wage Benefits

If the new job pays more than or equal to your pre-injury wages, your temporary disability benefits might stop. The wage benefit (temporary total disability) is an income replacement benefit.  This benefit of workers compensation law protects injured workers financially. This benefit is of limited duration, pending medical treatment.

Permanent Disability Benefits

You may have a permanent disability due to your work-related injury. That is a functional loss of a body part affected by a work accident. Changing jobs should not affect your receipt of permanent disability benefits. But, the extent of your disability may be affected by the requirements of your new job.

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Key factors to consider while getting another job while on Workers Comp

An Experienced Work Injury Attorney on Your Side

The decision to accept a new job while getting NJ Workers compensation benefits is complex, with many moving parts. Explore all avenues to secure a successful reentry to the workforce. This is a challenging journey for the recovering worker to navigate along with the complexities of New Jersey workers compensation law. Yes, you can change jobs while still receiving workers compensation benefits in New Jersey. The next question is: Should you? With over 30 years of experience, John F. Renner is a New Jersey attorney who offers guidance and strong advocacy to injured workers. This is protection for your rights and benefits.  He understands the nuances of workers’ compensation law and has expertise in handling such cases. Clients receive personalized advice and dedicated representation. This leads to the best possible outcomes. You can overcome the obstacles with confidence in a brighter future ahead. You can reach our office at (856) 596-8000.

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About the Author

John F. Renner is the founding attorney and principal of John F. Renner P.C. He has more than 25 years of experience representing injured workers in New Jersey. Mr. Renner guides his clients through the complex maze of New Jersey Workers Compensation Law for the best possible outcome.

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