Workers’ compensation is a system that provides benefits to employees who are injured or become ill due to their job. In most cases, workers’ comp covers medical expenses and lost wages. However, there are some restrictions on what you can and cannot do while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. Contact Collier Law today to discuss your workers’ compensation claim.
What is Light Duty Work in North Carolina?
According to the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), light duty typically means “temporary or permanent work that is physically or mentally less demanding than normal job duties.”
There are a few situations where an employer is not required to offer light-duty work:
- If there are no vacant positions that accommodate the injured worker’s restrictions
- If offering the position would create a hardship for the employer
- If the position is not available to employees who are not injured
Contact Collier Law today if you have been injured at work and your employer has not offered you a light duty position. We can help you understand your rights and options under the North Carolina workers’ compensation law.
Working in North Carolina While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
It is not uncommon for injured workers to want to return to work as soon as possible. In North Carolina, you can work while you receive workers’ compensation benefits, often called “light-duty” work. To qualify for light-duty work, the following criteria must apply:
- The employer must have light-duty work available for the employee.
- The injured worker must be able to perform the job’s essential functions with reasonable accommodations.
- The injured worker’s doctor must approve the return to work on a light-duty basis.
Not all employers have light-duty work available for injured workers. In some cases, even if an employer has light-duty work available, the injured employee may be unable to perform the job’s essential functions with accommodations. In these cases, an injured worker can’t return to work on a limited basis while still receiving workers’ compensation benefits.
If you have been injured at work and are unsure whether you can return to work on a limited basis, contact an experienced attorney at Collier Law. A lawyer can review your workers’ comp claim and help you understand your rights and options.
Can I Change Jobs While Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina?
Yes, in most cases, you can change jobs while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, there are a few restrictions:
- The new job must be within your medical restrictions
- You must notify your employer of your plans to leave your current position
- Your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced if your earnings at the new job are higher than those at the time of your injury.
Contact Collier Law today if you have suffered from a workplace injury and are thinking about changing jobs. We can help you understand your rights and options under the North Carolina workers’ compensation law.
Working a Second Job While Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits in North Carolina
It’s common for many injured employees to have had more than one job at the time of their work-related injury. If you are injured at one of your jobs, you will not be barred from working at the other. However, you may need to take steps to ensure that you will continue receiving benefits.
You should notify the workers’ compensation insurance company that you have another job and how much you earn. If you don’t inform the insurance company of the other job and they find out, the insurer may try to accuse you of committing fraud.
Can I Work a Part-Time Job While Collecting Workers’ Compensation Benefits in North Carolina?
Yes, you can work a part-time job in many cases while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. If you receive temporary partial disability benefits (TPD), you may be able to work a part-time job. TPD benefits are designed to replace a portion of a worker’s lost wages while they can work on a limited basis. To receive TPD benefits, the following must be true:
- The job must be within your medical restrictions.
- The injured worker must be able to earn less than their pre-injury wage.
- Your workers’ compensation benefits may be reduced if your earnings at the new job are higher than your earnings at the time of your injury.
Contact Collier Law today if you have been injured at work and are thinking about working a part-time job. We can help you understand your rights and options under the North Carolina workers’ compensation law.
Can I Quit My Job While on Workers’ Compensation?
In general, an employee can resign while on workers’ compensation. However, several factors could affect whether you should or shouldn’t resign.
If you are considering quitting your job while on workers’ compensation, speak with an attorney to discuss your specific situation. At Collier Law, we can help you understand your rights and make the best decision for you and your family.
How Long Do Workers’ Compensation Benefits Last?
In North Carolina, workers’ compensation benefits are available until you reach maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is when your doctor believes you have recovered as much as possible from your injury.
If you are receiving a weekly check and are released at maximum medical improvement, your benefits do not cease. Your weekly check will continue, and you will still have the right to medical treatment. Your benefits cannot be stopped unless you (a) return to work, (b) settle your case, or (c) a judge orders the carrier to stop your payments. The insurance carrier may assign a vocational counselor to assist in return to work.
What If My Employer Asks Me to Return to Work Before I Am Ready?
If your employer asks you to return to work before you are ready, you have the right to refuse. If you return to work and your injury worsens, you may be entitled to additional benefits.
Contact an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Attorney at Collier Law
As an injured worker under North Carolina law, you have a right to fair compensation, and your employer has an obligation to provide it.
Workers’ compensation companies try to rush injured workers through the claims process, which leads to smaller payouts. When you hire a skilled workers’ compensation attorney, you’ll have someone fight for your case. When you’re a client at Collier Law, you are so much more than a number to us: we value our attorney-client relationship and getting the justice you deserve above all else.
Contact us today for a free evaluation. We will honestly evaluate the details of your case and offer personalized, compassionate legal counsel at no obligation to you. We work hard to earn our clients’ trust and business, and we only get paid when you do.