What is Temporary Disability?

If you are unable to work due to your industrial injury and your claim has been accepted, the insurance carrier will pay you temporary disability benefits while you are unable to work. These benefits are paid at a rate of 2/3 of your average weekly wage at the time of your injury. For example, if your average weekly earnings are $300 per week, you will receive benefit payment at $200 per week. It generally takes approximately 2 weeks from the time your claim is accepted for the carrier to begin paying these benefits.

Is My Income From My Second Job Considered in Calculating My Benefit Rate?

If you have a second job and if you are unable to work at that job due to the industrial injury at your other job, the insurance carrier must take into consideration all earnings at the time of your injury in order to calculate your benefit rate. For example, if you earn $200 per week from the employer where the injury took place and you also earn $100 per week from a second source, your benefit rate will be based on the entire income of $300 per week, making your benefit rate $200 per week. If you have such concurrent income, you must provide documents to support the additional income in the form of pay stubs, etc. to the insurance carrier, or your attorney if represented.

Can I Work Part Time and Receive Benefits?

If you are released to return to work on a part-time basis and are working less than your normal full hours, you are potentially entitled to partial temporary disability benefits in addition to your wages. How this works is that you are entitled to 2/3 your average weekly wage whether you are working part time or not at all. For example, if your wages were regularly $300 per week, you would be entitled to benefits in the amount of $200 per week. If you return to part-time work and make less than $200 per week in wages, you would be entitled to temporary disability only in the amount that makes up the difference between your earnings and the $200 cap. Such as, you earn $150 per week in wages, you would then be entitled to $50 from the carrier for the difference. However, if you earn more than the $200 cap you would not be entitled to any additional benefits.

Can I Work Full Time and Still Get Benefits?

Of course, but your benefits will be limited to medical treatment, permanent disability benefits, etc. You will not be entitled to temporary disability benefits as this benefit is only paid if you are unable to work due to your workers’ compensation injury.

Can I Earn Any Other Money or Work At Another Job While Receiving Temporary Disability benefits?

The answer to this is a resounding NO. Temporary disability benefits are to compensate you for being unable to work. It is unfortunate, but the law does not look at the financial hardships an industrial injury places on individuals and it is considered fraud to accept temporary disability benefits, state disability benefits, or even vocational rehabilitation maintenance allowance if you are working or receiving income from any source (even from self-employment, “working under the table,” or income from a business in a spouse’s name.) If it is determined that you have fraudulently accepted disability benefits while not entitled to them, you could be prosecuted for criminal acts.

What Can Happen If I Accept Disability Benefits While Earning Other Income?

The insurance companies are vigorously campaigning to expose workers’ compensation fraud and are actively pursing cases against injured workers who have misrepresented their injuries, filed false claims or that have accepted disability benefits while they were also receiving income from another source. Therefore, if you do receive income while receiving any of these benefits, immediately report the income to the insurance carrier.

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