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Workers' Compensation

Avoiding Questionable Behavior While on Workers’ Compensation

By October 10, 2022November 2nd, 2022No Comments

Those who can’t work due to injury may see their day-to-day lives beyond work change. It is normal and sometimes acceptable to want to live life as you always have. However, it is important to recognize that the activities you engage in while receiving workers’ compensation benefits can affect your health—and your case.

Take Your Doctor’s Advice

It is the duty of medical professionals to ensure your quality of life is as high as it can be. What not to do while on workers’ compensation should always be based on your doctor’s stated guidelines. Their job is to oversee your recovery and make sure you heal fully and as quickly as possible. That may require modifying your behaviors and activities. Following those guidelines is the surest step to avoiding questions about the severity of your injury by insurance companies.

Every case is different but if you are unable to work due to injury, and your doctor deems you to be totally or 100% disabled, then it is often best to minimize activity. If your doctor says you can drive, walk short distances, and lift less than 5 lbs, then you are certainly free to do those types of things. When out of work, your goal and hope is to get back to your job. So, the best advice is to follow your doctor’s orders and get well as soon as possible.

What You Do Can Affect Your Case

If you are receiving workers’ compensation payments or seeking authorization for medical treatments, it is always possible that your employer’s insurance company could be monitoring or investigating you.

Consider Limiting Your Activites

When your doctor instructs you to avoid or modify certain activities, you should follow these guidelines to the letter. Directives like walking with a cane, forgoing driving while taking medications, or avoiding lifting heavy objects are important to your health, the safety of others, and the viability of your case.

Similarly, if you have told your doctor that you can’t do certain things, make sure that you act in accordance with your own statements. If your doctor writes a report that says, “patient can only stand 10 minutes at a time,” and then you are seen walking about the mall or going to a concert, then you are going to have a problem. If you are prescribed a neck brace, cane, or another assistive device, use them as directed. Do not use them just when you go to the doctor. The worst-case scenario is a finding of workers’ compensation fraud, which can result in a permanent disqualification of lost wage benefits, and even criminal charges.

Be Mindful of Social Media Use

It is also very important to consider social media use (Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, etc.) while on workers’ compensation. Insurance carriers do look at your social media accounts. It is best not to post at all; if you do, be sure what you’re sharing is in line with your medical restrictions.

If you ever have a question about what you should or should not do while on workers’ compensation, it is best to consult with a lawyer who understands the New York State Workers’ Compensation system. The lawyers at Lewis & Lewis are well-equipped to answer your questions.

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