Can I Get a Second Job While Receiving Workers’ Compensation?
Written by Shawn Diederich on September 9, 2016
An injured Florida worker still needs to bring in income to support their family. While workers’ compensation benefits can provide an important source of income, in some cases, it may still not be enough. Additionally, even though some injured workers may not yet be able to return to their previous job, they may be able to work at a less strenuous position for the time being. These circumstances lead some injured workers to consider taking a second job while still receiving workers’ compensation. A second job could be a good option for some, but it is critically important that all workers understand exactly how taking a new position will impact their workers’ compensation benefits.
Florida Workers’ Compensation: Understanding the Different Types of Benefits
Legally speaking, you are always free to take a second job if you wish to do so. However, you must understand that it could reduce your benefits. Under Florida law, there are different categories of workers’ compensation benefits. Specifically, two of the most important are:
- Medical benefits: Florida workers’ compensation medical benefits will cover all ‘necessary’ medical treatment. Many different forms of care will fall under this coverage, including: doctor’s appointments, medication, surgeries and operations and rehabilitation-related expenses. Your medical benefits will not be affected by you taking on a second job. Ultimately, medical care is covered as long as it is related to your work injury and it is deemed necessary.
- Disability benefits: Injured workers are also often entitled to disability benefits. Disability benefits are meant to cover lost income. After all, if you are forced to miss work, you will not be getting paid. However, since since getting a second job will replace some of that lost income, your disability benefits will be generally reduced accordingly. If you make as much at your second job as you did working at your previous position, your benefits will likely be cut off. If you make less at your second job that you previously did, you will typically still receive partial benefits to fill the gap between those two salaries.
You Need to Report Your Income
In Florida, workers’ compensation income benefits are calculated based on your lost earnings. If, while receiving benefits, you begin taking in income from another source, you are legally obligated to report that new income. In fact, you could end up facing civil fraud charges if you fail to report all of your income sources. Ultimately, you need to consider the impact that taking a new job will have on your current workers’ compensation benefits. Very likely, taking a new job will result in a substantial reduction in your payments. You may desire to take such a position regardless of that fact, but it is a consequence that must be carefully weighed.
Do You Need Legal Advice?
The passionate Orlando workers’ compensation lawyers at Diederich Law Firm, P.A. have extensive experience protecting the rights of injured Florida workers. If you have been injured on the job and are seeking workers’ compensation benefits, or if you have any questions about the calculation of your disability benefits, please do not hesitate to contact our office today at (407) 270-3775. Our firm offers free initial consultations to all injured workers.