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Can I Seek New Employment While on Workers’ Compensation Benefits?



The short answer to this question is yes! If you are capable of working, the Industrial Accident Board (IAB) will likely want you to try to find employment. Doing so will also make you appear more credible. If you do want to seek employment, be sure the physical demands of the job are consistent with your capabilities as you are describing them to your doctor and as your doctor is recommending. However, if your doctor says you are too hurt to work at all, you do not have any obligation to seek employment while you focus on getting better. Of course, the insurance company can always send you to be examined by a doctor of their choosing and that doctor could find you capable of working even if your doctor disagrees. In that case, it will likely be necessary to litigate your claim before the IAB.

               

As long as you want to return to your job and you have a reasonable expectation of returning to that job, you are not obligated to seek other work while you recover. In some cases, your employer could tell you it expects you to find another job. If you’re able to work in this case, you should find another job if you’re able. Again, if you do so, be sure that any job you apply for is consistent with your physical abilities. If your injury will prevent you from returning to the kind of work you have done in the past, vocational training is available to help prepare you for a new profession.

 

If you find new employment but you are earning less than you did in the past, in most cases you will be entitled to 2/3 of the difference between your old job and your new one. For many people, this can help them to earn more than on total disability alone.


Finally, if you are unsure about the best course of action and whether you should seek a new job or not, talk to your attorney. At Kimmel Carter, we offer free consultations. Contact us at (302) 565-6100, and we’ll be happy to discuss your claim.

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