Yes, you can interview for a new job while you are on workers compensation. But there are some important factors to consider if it is in your best interest to do so. Keep in mind there is a big difference between interviewing for a job and being hired and going to work for a new employer. Read below to understand how interviewing for a new job while on workers compensation can affect your workers compensation case.
Important Things to Note Before Interviewing While On Workers Compensation
Get a clear picture of your status:
What is your status within your workers compensation case? For example, has your workers compensation doctor said that you are unable to work, or your work said they cannot accommodate your work restrictions. If that is the case, you are most likely to be receiving temporary disability payments from workers compensation or EDD. Have you been released back to work with no restrictions? Are you currently working with restrictions or no restrictions?
Workers’ compensation benefits may cease or decrease in amounts:
If you are currently receiving Temporary Disability benefits and you go to work for a new employer that will either end your temporary disability benefits or decrease them if your new job pays less than your previous job.
If you have been released from your treating doctor with no restrictions, you are free to go to work with a different employer even if your case has not been settled yet. This does sometimes get tricky if you do not agree with your doctor and think that you are too injured to return to work. If you are in doubt about what to do you should speak with an attorney.
If you are currently working for your employer with restrictions and want to go work for a different employer, you can do that. It is important that your job duties at your new job do not exceed your work restrictions. The same holds true if you are currently working for your employer and want to go work for a new employer.
If you go to work for a different employer, does it end your workers compensation case?
An employer can go to work for a different employer in the middle of their workers compensation case and it will not end the case. Of course, as stated above the work must be within your work restrictions.
Discuss With Your Doctor:
Before you start applying for a new job consult with your doctor first. This is to know whether you can be capable of taking on the workload of the new job.
It is important to be on the same page with your doctor because if you accept a new job and find out too late that your injury will prevent you from performing at a high standard, you may be forced to resign.
Even worse, if your workers’ benefits had ceased due to an increase in payment at your new place of employment you could be left with nothing.
Workers’ compensation is not permanent in every case:
Many employees confuse the term “Permanent Disability” with permanently being unable to work again. Just because a doctor finds a percentage of disability it does not mean you can not return to work. That is why it is important to clarify with your doctor and your attorney before you seek employment.
Talking to an Expert
Because of monetary pressures many injured workers are forced to make the decision of returning to work despite ongoing pain. It is important to speak to an attorney weigh the consequences of that decision. At The Morris Law Group, our team has significant experience navigating these issues. Please call us for a free consultation.