Serving clients in Fayetteville and all of NW Arkansas
Workers’ compensation is designed as a safety net for workers who are injured at the workplace. Some workers suffer injuries so severe that they cannot work at all for weeks or months at a time. However, some workers may feel that they are injured enough to receive workers’ compensation but not to the extent that requires them to stop working completely. That is why it is important to understand your rights regarding light work while receiving injury benefits. If you were injured at the workplace and you need information about whether you can continue working, you should consult with an experienced Fayetteville workers’ compensation attorney. The Kieklak Law Firm explains whether you can work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits in Arkansas.
Does Working Affect Your Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Workers’ compensation benefits are given to employees that are injured while at the workplace. These benefits can greatly benefit a worker that may be unable to return to work for a significant amount of time. However, some workers may believe that they could continue to work in a limited role even after being deemed eligible for workers’ comp. That is why it is important to understand the possible consequences of continuing to work while receiving benefits.
Earning Workers’ Comp Benefits
Once a worker suffers a work-related injury, they are obligated to report the injury to their supervisor as soon as possible. This report should be written and should inform the employer of the date of the injury and how the injury occurred.
Once an injury has been reported to the employer, the employer’s insurance carrier will refer you to a healthcare provider that will evaluate your injuries and decide whether you should receive benefits. If you would like to be evaluated by a physician of your choosing, you should first determine whether your employer would fund the cost of this visit. You do not want to waste money on a medical examination that would not be utilized by the employer’s insurance company.
The healthcare provider you are designated to see will determine the extent of your injuries and how long you will be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits. The physician should decide whether you have a temporary disability or a permanent one. Depending on the severity of the temporary or permanent disability, the healthcare provider may recommend that you are unable to work for a few weeks or even several months. This will make you eligible for the following benefits:
- Medical Care – Medical care benefits will give you money for doctor visits, prescription medication, medical testing like x-rays and CT scans, and medical equipment like wheelchairs or crutches.
- Rehabilitation Services – Rehabilitation services will grant you money for physical therapy or other similar services you may need to fully recover from your injury.
- Cash Payments – Cash payments are given to injured workers who are unable to return to work while they are healing from an injury. It can also be paid when a worker suffers a permanent injury like a leg amputation, or it can be paid to family members if the worker passes away due to their work-related injuries.
Possibility of Working While on Workers’ Comp
Some employees that are injured on the job may feel that their injury does not prevent them from working entirely. As a result, these workers may try to find a second job or ask their employer for a position that is physically less demanding. It is important to understand the possible consequences of continuing to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
In Arkansas, an employer is not obligated to offer you a position that will not aggravate the injuries that made you eligible for workers’ comp. However, if your employer does not have a position that consists of light work, they may have to offer you the compensation to make up for being unable to offer you a restricted work duty.
You should be careful about trying to work a second job while on benefits. If your employer discovers that you are working while receiving benefits, they may use this as an opportunity to terminate your workers’ comp benefits. The employer will argue that your ability to work shows that you are no longer disabled. Similarly, if you request a light duty position from your employer, some employers may attempt to use it against you.
Under certain circumstances, an injured worker may continue to work while on workers’ compensation. However, due to the complex nature of this issue, it would be wise to consult an experienced attorney before you make a decision that could affect your benefits.
Work with Our Trusted Arkansas Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today
If you or a family member was injured at the workplace and are concerned with the loss of benefits due to working another job, you should contact an experienced Arkansas workers’ comp lawyer. The Kieklak Law Firm is here to help you handle any complications with your workers’ compensation benefits and help you receive the benefits you deserve. To schedule a free legal consultation to discuss your workers’ comp benefits, contact the Kieklak Law Firm at (479) 279-6267, or contact us online.
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