What Happens If You Get Caught Working While On Workers’ Comp?

Workers’ Comp

Have you ever wondered what happens if you get caught working while on workers’ comp?

Workers’ compensation is a mandatory insurance cover for all businesses with at least one employee. This cover safeguards workers against financial losses incurred due to an illness or injury sustained from work-related causes.

So, in the event of a work injury, an employee is compensated for medical expenses, rehabilitation, and, of course, lost wages. Here, wages cover past pay for work days missed and future wages until the employee fully recovers and returns to work.

Save for cases of permanent disability, you will eventually get better and even be able to return to work. Now, the question is, do you stop receiving settlements after that? Also, what happens if you get caught working while on workers’ comp?

Read on to learn more:

Does Workers’ Compensation Stop When You Return To Work?

Generally, yes. If you sustain an injury that renders you unable to perform your work duties for seven days or more, you are put on what’s known as a temporary total disability. Basically, these are weekly payments amounting to about two-thirds of your wage- to a maximum of $675- that you receive to sustain yourself when you can’t work. Typically, these payments can be made for a maximum period of 400 weeks.

However, in real-life scenarios, payments end much earlier, usually after the doctor clears you to return to work. So, once you are back to your regular duties, they stop coming in. Now, if after 400 weeks you are still unable to work, you have what’s known as permanent disability and will continue to receive compensation.

In some cases, your doctor may clear you to perform light work duties. This may mean working in a lower-paying role or for limited working hours. In this case, you will temporarily continue receiving workers’ comp to make up for the difference.

What Happens If You Get Caught Working While On Workers’ Comp?

Get Caught Working While On Workers’ Comp

While workers’ comp ceases once you return to work, there are special circumstances where you can continue to receive benefits even after you are back in the workforce. However, this should only happen if you not only report that you are working but also the income you’re earning. Then, the carrier will make the necessary adjustments.

If, say, you get another job without the knowledge of your employer or the workers’ comp carrier and so continue getting benefits while earning an income, then you may face a myriad of consequences, including:

Having Your Benefits Taken Away from You

The immediate consequence would be losing your compensation benefits. This may have dire consequences, especially if you haven’t fully recovered and still need them. Or if you are working less and, therefore, not earning in the same capacity you used to. That’s why it’s always best to report any income you get so that the carrier can calculate how much to give you as benefits.

Being Forced to Reimburse the Insurance Carrier

Aside from losing out on any additional benefits, you may also be obliged to pay back any money received from the insurance company while you are actually working. Not being in a position to pay back will definitely land you in an even bigger mess.

Facing Civil Action

The insurance company may also pursue civil action against you for insurance fraud. If they prove you weren’t honest about your injuries and recovery, you will be liable to pay the carrier damages, which can be quite hefty.

Facing Criminal Liability

In the worst-case scenario, you might get charged for insurance fraud. And, if found guilty, you may face anywhere from criminal fines to actual imprisonment.

Get A Personal Injury Lawyer To Navigate Your Compensation Matters

Workers’ compensation is pretty complex, especially when it’s time to figure out whether to return to work. That is why, in addition to getting the doctor’s clearance, you also want to seek the guidance of a lawyer. A personal injury attorney can help you get the rightful compensation without delays and for the period you need to make a recovery. They also ensure you transition back to work without suffering financially or breaking the law.

Nabamita Sinha loves to write about lifestyle and pop-culture. In her free time, she loves to watch movies and TV series and experiment with food. Her favorite niche topics are fashion, lifestyle, travel, and gossip content. Her style of writing is creative and quirky.

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