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Can I still work while receiving workers' comp?

The title to this week's blog post is a question often posed by injured workers across the state of Ohio. It makes sense when you consider that not all work-related injuries force a person to miss work or even prevent them from doing other duties at their job. But while this may be the case, it's important to know that the workers' compensation program has strict guidelines when it comes to receiving these benefits and working while collecting them can cause problems.

Our Columbus readers can see this exemplified by the recent case of a Carlisle man who was ordered to pay back more than $19,000 in workers' compensation for working while collecting benefits. Investigators from the Bureau of Workers' Compensation looked into his case after allegations came forward saying that he had begun operating his own business.

Unlike the Social Security Disability program, which allows a person to collect temporary disability benefits while still working, temporary total compensation is supposed to cease when a person returns to part-time or full-time work. If a person continues to receive these benefits, it's possible that they could be accused of committing workers' compensation fraud, which is a fifth-degree felony offense.

It's because of instances such as the one above that workers are encouraged to ask questions about their benefits, especially if there are any concerns about potential legal issues. While asking questions may mitigate the chances of encountering litigation down the road, legal issues can still arise, which is why some seek the help of a skilled attorney.

Sources: The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation, "BWC Basics for Injured Workers," Accessed Aug. 7, 2014, "Ohio Man Ordered to Repay Nearly $20K in Workers' Comp Benefits," Aug. 4, 2014

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The Bainbridge Firm, LLC

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