If I work at a side job, can I include that income when calculating workers’ comp benefits?

side_jobI recently saw a statistic I found interesting. According to a survey conducted by Bankrate and reported in the Columbus Dispatch, nearly 40 percent of workers across the country report earning income from a side job.

This means that besides the salary they earn at their primary jobs, almost half of American workers have a supplemental income they rely on to get by.

So what happens if they're injured at their primary workplace and unable to do either job? They should be
compensated for all lost wages, not just the income earned from the primary position.

Why Does This Matter?

According to the Bankrate survey, the most popular side jobs for survey respondents were home repair and landscaping, but many people earn extra money by:

  • Driving for a rideshare company
  • Working for a grocery shopping and delivery service
  • Substitute teaching
  • Freelancing

People who have side jobs earn an average of $686 a month. Losing this much money monthly could have a significant impact on the ability to support yourself and your family. This is why if you're injured at your primary job and unable to work, the loss of any side income should be factored into your wage calculation when filing for workers’ comp with your primary employer. This is why we ask you to tell us about all the work you've done during the year before your injury.

Be Aware of Fraud

Sometimes, you could continue to work your side gig while receiving workers’ comp from your primary employer. For example, a back injury may prevent you from your primary job of delivering packages for Fed Ex, but not from your freelance work as a copywriter.

However, if you're collecting benefits for lost wages from the side job, or if you've claimed you're unable to do the side job, continuing to work could be considered workers' compensation fraud.

Get What You Deserve and Stay Out of Legal Trouble With My Help

Having side jobs can complicate an Ohio workers’ comp claim. Whether you need to include your extra earnings in the wage calculation for lost time benefits or have questions about if you can continue to work a side job while collecting benefits, I can help you figure it out.

Call me to discuss your claim, and I'll let you know if I can be of assistance. You can learn more about applying for Ohio workers’ comp benefits by requesting a free copy of my book, The Worker’s Guide to Injury Compensation in Ohio.

 

James Monast
Fighting for Ohio’s Injured Workers and their Families