While unemployment is down, many people are working two jobs to make ends meet. For most people that means one full time job and one part time job, but we do talk to many injured workers who actually work two full time jobs.
Whatever your situation is, there is one VERY important thing you must do if you work two jobs and you must do it before you are injured.
When you have an injury and two jobs, your average weekly wage can be based on both jobs. This is important because it can greatly increase your benefits. So if on job #1 you make $750 a week and on job #2 you make $250 a week, if you are hurt on job #2, your benefits could be based off of an average weekly wage of either $1,000 or $250.
The way we determine what wage you will use will be if your employer knew about the other job and was OK with it. It sounds pretty simple and it is. If they gave you permission to work the other job or more accurately, if they didn’t object, then the wages for both jobs should be considered.
In a case like the one I described, that can result in a difference of weekly pay of around $500 a week and of course would be a much bigger settlement if both wages are included.
To notify your employer of both jobs, it’s best to do it in writing, but in the least it should be verbal and you should document when you told them, who you told and what you said. The biggest defense we see in these cases isn’t that they didn’t give permission. Rather the insurance company will say that the employer didn’t know about it. If you can’t prove otherwise, you lose.
For most employers, the second jobs aren’t a big deal as long as they don’t interfere with the first. It’s just important that you communicate with them at some point before you are hurt.
Bonus tip. It’s common practice for insurance companies to say that the wages from your other job should not be included. They risk almost nothing by saying that to you and it’s just done in hopes of discouraging you. Don’t get discouraged. Talk to someone who knows what they are doing and make an educated decision from there.
Questions? Concerns? Want to talk? Fill out our form to the right or call us at (312) 346-5578. We help everywhere in Illinois.