It is a clear rule that you cannot collect workers’ compensation benefits while working unless you are working at reduced earnings. The reduced earnings exception will have to be set up by a judge at a hearing and the carrier will be aware that you are in fact working, but earning less money. Aside from this exception, cashing a check from the insurance carrier while receiving salary in any form is essentially illegal and can result in significant consequences, including disqualification from future benefits and even criminal charges. A few things to keep in mind:
- If you are using your sick time and you are being paid by your employer, you shouldn’t be receiving compensation benefits. If you do, inform the carrier prior to cashing your check.
- If you return to work but the insurance carrier continues to pay you, do not cash the checks, as you are already receiving salary from your employer.
- Remember that you must disclose all type of work activity to the carrier. This includes helping a friend with their business, volunteer work, side work, and even charity work.
It is important to realize that when testifying at a hearing you must be aware of whether you have performed any activity that could be considered “work” as defined by the regulations. The best bet is to consult an attorney as to not commit perjury or jeopardize your compensation case.
Schwartzapfel Lawyers, P.C.
If you have questions about workers’ compensation – whether your are in the process of filing a claim or are uncertain about the standing of your current benefits – contact our offices for experienced, knowledgeable counsel. We can be reached by telephone at 1-877-737-4806, or you can fill out our convenient online contact form to get started.