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Can You Work Another Job While on Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina?

Are you currently on Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina but wondering if you could get another job? Workers’ Compensation may set some people’s income back a little bit, so, understandably, you might be wanting a second job.

But as with so many other government-related concerns, one question leads to numerous other ones. For example, in this scenario, you might be wondering if any legal concerns come with applying for and working a second job while under Workers’ Compensation. 

Many other questions may even arise that aren’t even related to legal concerns. In this article, we’ll answer the question of whether or not you can work a second job while under Workers’ Comp in South Carolina.

Understanding Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation is a type of insurance that businesses and companies can purchase for their employees. This insurance will cover medical expenses and lost wages due to the time the employee spent not working. 

The process of receiving eligibility for Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina can be tricky. There’s a lot of paperwork and documents to fill out, phone calls to be made, and much more. What’s worse is that you have to do it all while you recover from an injury (if that was the cause for receiving Workers’ Compensation).

But once you receive Workers’ Compensation, you might find yourself in a bit of a paradoxical state. You’re happy that you can receive a portion of your salary or pay while working and distraught that the portion you get isn’t enough to pay the bills.

So you start wondering if you can begin working again anytime soon. For South Carolina individuals, you might be delighted to hear that your job may offer light-duty Workers’ Compensation.

Light-duty Workers’ Compensation is provided to employees who can return to work but still eligible for Workers’ Compensation benefits. The light-duty work might include special job requirements, fewer hours, and lower pay. Though you’ll receive lower pay, a portion of the difference between what you received before getting Workers’ Compensation will be paid to you. 

If light-duty work is offered, employees are generally required to take it. However, light-duty work can only be offered to (and accepted by) the employee if they have a release form from their physician. 

Let’s say that you were to return to work while receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits. If you were to make the same salary you were before or increased, your benefits would most likely be halted. This is because the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission will deem you fit to return to work.

Can You Work Another Job While on Workers’ Compensation?

But even if you can return to light-duty work, the money you earn might not be much compared to what you were used to. So you start looking for another job. Is it okay to work a second job while on Workers’ Compensation in South Carolina?

The simple answer is: yes. 

You can work a second job while under Workers’ Compensation. However, there are some limitations and requirements you must meet before doing so.

Limitations for working while on Worker’s Comp

Before starting your new job, you must notify your previous employer of your decision to either leave the company or work a second job. If you continue to be an employee at your previous job, you can still receive Workers’ Compensation benefits while working your new job. 

However, your benefits will be reduced to match the money you were previously earning.

Just like any job, you need to make sure you’re able to do it in the first place. This means talking with your physician to see if the injury or condition you have will hinder your ability to work at your new job. You don’t want to start a new job then have to leave immediately because your injury gets in the way of you performing.

When you start working another job, it is also vital for you to notify the South Carolina Workers’ Compensation Commission (SCWCC) before training. If you start earning wages while on Workers’ Compensation without notifying the SCWCC, it is considered Workers’ Compensation fraud. This will likely be put on your record, something you do not want to happen. 

What If I Already Had Two Jobs?

Did you know that over 7% of working Americans have more than one job? That number is steadily increasing. Like many other Americans, you might have already had a second job. 

Chances are you had that second job before you received your Workers’ Compensation. If this is the case, getting Workers’ Compensation from one job does not necessarily mean you will get it from the other one as well. Nor does this mean you’ll be restricted from working both jobs.

In this situation, it’s highly advisable to talk with your physician first. Let them know you are working two jobs and ask if you can work either-or.

After that, you must report both of your jobs and their earnings to the SCWCC. If you do not, they might assume you are trying to get away with committing fraud. Also, let your employers know that you are working at another location.

You might also be asking “Can you change jobs while on Workers’ Compensation?” And this is possible, but you might risk losing your benefits from Workers’ Compensation from your other job.

Note that if you get Workers’ Compensation from one job and cannot work there, the other employer can still fire you. But, this can only happen if Workers’ Compensation does not restrict you from working your second job. So if both jobs protect you, neither can fire you without just reason.

But if you are not protected from your second job by Workers’ Compensation, the employer may still choose to let you go if you do not give them notice and stop working. 

There might even be a case where your injury is so bad that you cannot work at all. This is called total incapacity. Total incapacity benefits are available, but only cover two-thirds of what you were getting paid previously.

More Help with Workers’ Compensation

Workers’ Compensation is a daunting field. No one wants to get hurt and not work, especially if that means they will be receiving less pay. 

The Columbia, SC Workers’ Compensation attorneys here at Burriss and Ridgeway understand the confusion around Workers’ Compensation. That’s why we’re to help you with any questions or concerns you might have. 

Our goal is to hear out your concerns and deliver care that’ll be sure to surpass your highest expectations. The driving force here at Burriss and Ridgeway is the client. So you can rest assured knowing you’ll always be put first.

You need to work with a trusted team, so don’t hesitate to visit our page or contact us for more help with Workers’ Compensation.