The cost of living gets higher and higher every day, and thousands of Americans have to work more than one job to make ends meet. Men and women are working full-time, 40-hour-a-week jobs, and then heading home to change clothes and pull an all-night shift or work a few hours in a retail store or fast-food restaurant.
The income from a second job could mean the difference between having breakfast, lunch, and dinner on the table and skipping regular meals. Too many people rely on both incomes and any major change could have dramatic repercussions for a person’s financial security and immediate quality of living.
When you’re injured at work and are holding down two jobs, your workers’ compensation should adequately cover the income from the job at which you sustained the injury. Simply stated, if you fall off a shoddy ladder at your full-time construction job, your employer should be covering the costs of your medical care, as well as the loss of income you’ll be subject to during your recovery period.
But this coverage only goes so far and only extends to the job at hand. If you work weeknights and weekends bartending, you could be earning anywhere from $100 to $500 a night, depending on where you work. You should note, however, that your workers’ compensation will not make up for the lost tips from your bartending job if you are unable to work there.
What Should You Do?
If you are injured at one job and face losing wages from both jobs for an extended period of time or even lose your second job if you have to be off for too long, you need to take steps immediately to protect your full financial income. You are entitled to workers’ compensation benefits from the one job, but you may be able to receive some compensation that will cover the loss of your additional income.
When you begin filing your workers’ compensation claim, you need to immediately let the insurance company know about your second job. They may ask you for pay stubs from your other job or at least some proof of income. If you cannot work at your second job, the insurance company may need to add that income to your average weekly earnings because an average weekly wage must include all your income.
If you have a lower income rate than expected, it may have a negative impact on your temporary or permanent disability allowances. When you are working with two different employers, it can be more complicated because the insurance company handling your case is not directly involved with your other employer. If you and your attorney make sure that this is correct from the start, you have a better chance of receiving full compensation during your recovery so that you can focus on getting better and getting back to work.
At Levine Law, we represent anyone who has been injured on the job and has complications caused by a second job or other similar circumstances. For more information on compensation requirements or to discuss your specific case, contact a Denver workers’ compensation lawyer at our firm today.