01-21-2009, 11:43 AM #1
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- Jan 2009
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Accepting a New job while on work comp
Can I accept a postion at a differnt company if I still have a work comp claim at my current employer? Can I refuse benefits from work comp claim at my current employer to pursue other career options at this new company?
01-21-2009, 12:23 PM #2
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- Feb 2004
- Thanked 382 Times in 374 Posts
There is another poster who drops by occasionally who is much better versed in w/c than I am. However, I can tell you that you CAN change jobs even with an open w/c claim. The employer in whose employ you were in when the work injury occurred will continue to be responsible for medical treatment until the claim is settled and closed. You will, of course, not be eligible for any ongoing lost wages if you are working for any employer.
01-23-2009, 07:16 PM #3
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- Jan 2009
- New York
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You can keep your job and still get comp
Workers comp is designed to make up for any lost earnings you may have had due to an injury; it is not designed to prohibit you from working. In fact it is designed to encourage you to go back to work.
Specifically, in New York, if you go to back to work and make less money than you did before your injury, the board will deduct your current gross income from your AWW (average weekly wage prior to your injury). That difference is your ‘reduced earnings’. Then they take your level of disability. Let us say you are considered to be moderate at 50%. They will take the difference in earnings, let us say $100 a week, multiply it times that 50% disability rating and give you 66-2/3% of that as comp. The ‘missing’ 33-1/3% is assumed to be what you are NOT paying in taxes (state and city, fed, soc sec, etc) on the $100. Do remember that your workers comp payments in New York are non-taxable income!
And why would you refuse comp benefits? First of all there is the medical, if you need it. Legally, only the comp carrier can pay medical expenses related to your injury. Your private health insurance company, if they find out that the expenses they are paying are related to the work injury, can seek reimbursement from the comp carrier for the expenses, although sometimes they will chase the claimant around for a while. And nobody needs that.
As for giving up your comp. Why! If you are making less and the law judge determines it is due to your injury, you have every legal right to collect that difference. If you are earning less for reasons unrelated to your injury, than you can not collect it. But that is something your lawyers can tell you. I have signed hundreds of decisions trying to determine if a lower post-injury AWW is due to the injury or other facts.
The insurance company MUST BE INFORMED that you are working at a new job. Not to do so can result in your facing civil fraud. And the more you work with the insurance company, the more they will work with you. Rest assured they will seek to eliminate your comp although many will agree to a reduction to allow for the reduced earnings you are getting. They will be more than happy to pay reduced earnings if you have gone back to work rather than fight and have you (not YOU but there are many injured workers who do) stop working and try to get full comp.
Again, and this is for everyone who reads this posting: you can work at your old or new job and get comp, if your post earnings are less than you pre-accident earning, if the reduced earnings are due to your injuries.
So, keep your new job and, if appropriate, do not give up your access to comp.
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