When you get hurt at work in Illinois, sometimes you are so disabled that you can’t do anything.  Other times you are injured and maybe can’t do your normal job, but can do some work.  When you can’t work at all you receive workers’ compensation benefits. One caller to my office wanted to know if they could work while getting those benefits.

It’s a question I’ve heard a few times so I thought it was worth a post.

The most common scenario where you can work while getting work comp benefits would be when you had two jobs before your accident.  Let’s say you have a job in a factory that requires a lot of lifting and you hurt your shoulder.  To make extra money, you also work as a security guard.  You get a 20 pound lifting restriction that prevents you from doing the factory job, but the security job is mostly standing and watching.   You could do that job while still getting compensated for the time you are missing from your main job.

Another common scenario these days involves people who do ride share for Uber or Lyft.  As long as driving doesn’t put you at risk for making your injury worse or go against your restrictions, you are usually alright to keep doing that.

What you can’t do is receive TTD benefits for your time off of work and then go get a full time job or new work you weren’t doing before.  That would be double dipping. If you do this then you shouldn’t keep receiving TTD benefits to the full extent and potentially could be charged with fraud if you do.

You can also actually be permanently disabled and receive those benefits, but have the ability to do a small job here or there.  It seems odd, but if you are unable to hold a real, full time job that doesn’t mean you can’t on occasion do something.  It actually works the same way for social security benefits.

Bottom line is that for most people you have one job and you can either work it or you get hurt and can’t work it.  But if you want to work a different job or had two jobs before you got hurt or want to freelance, it’s worth talking to someone about it before you do so just to make sure you don’t put your benefits at risk.  If you have any questions call us at 312-346-5578 or fill out our contact form and we will call you.