There are plenty of opportunities throughout the year—depending on your work schedule—to take a trip with friends, family, or on your own. Everyone who works deserves a vacation—even employees who have been injured by a workplace accident.
There is no federal law that says employees who have filed a workers’ compensation claim are not allowed to take a vacation while receiving benefits. However, there are several factors to take into consideration while planning a trip to avoid accidentally losing workers’ comp benefits.
Common factors to consider before you take a long trip include:
- Avoid missing or rescheduling a doctor’s appointment – To be covered by workers’ compensation insurance, you are required to attend all scheduled appointments with doctors, specialists, therapists, and other medical professionals. Missing or rescheduling a medical appointment could be interpreted as a failure to comply with medical treatment, which could jeopardize your benefits. Ensure that your vacation doesn’t conflict with any scheduled appointments.
- Listen to your doctor – Along with your medical treatment, the doctor will inform you of certain activities you should avoid in order to make the best possible recovery and prevent re-injury. However, vacations typically entail several physical challenges, from fun events such as jet-skiing and paragliding to strenuous activities like carrying heavy luggage or sitting down for long stretches of time while flying. Not only could going against your doctor’s orders lead to reinjury, but also the loss of your benefits.
- You are always under supervision – Insurance companies will hire investigators to keep an eye on employees receiving workers’ compensation benefits to ensure a claim is legitimate. If an investigator catches you disobeying the doctor’s orders or otherwise engaging in restricted activities, the workers’ comp insurer will hear all about it and stop your benefits. Furthermore, investigators will scour your social media accounts to find any evidence to use against you, so be careful about what you post.