Michigan workers compensation attorney explains the conflict between claiming both unemployment and work comp for the same period of time
I’m frequently asked about whether an individual can collect both unemployment and workers comp at the same time.
This situation usually arises when the injured worker has lost his or her job and workers comp has denied the claim. The injured worker has no income and must use unemployment to support his or her family.
The conflict between claiming unemployment and workers comp
Unemployment requires that you be available and seeking work. Workers comp requires that you are disabled and cannot work. There is an obvious conflict between claiming unemployment and claiming workers comp.
You can collect both unemployment and workers comp under certain circumstances
However, a situation could arise where you are disabled from one job but be able to do another. You might not be able to do heavy work but you could do light work if available.
The idea is that you are looking for light work within your medical restrictions but you still have a loss of wage earning capacity because of your work injury. Under the above circumstances, you might be entitled to unemployment and workers comp.
There are consequences for collecting unemployment benefits while claiming workers comp
Be mindful that the receipt of unemployment benefits can affect your workers comp case. A magistrate can consider the receipt of unemployment benefits as evidence of the lack of disability. You could end up losing your entire workers comp case for a few weeks of unemployment benefits.
Additionally, unemployment benefits received for the same period of time and chargeable to the same employer can be offset with workers comp. You might end up trading one dollar for another.
Don’t try to game the system when free legal advice is available
An experienced attorney can help you navigate the confusing world of workers comp. The goal should always be to maximize the amount of recovery that you collect.
To speak with one of our workers comp attorneys, call (855) 221-COMP for a free consultation. There is no fee unless workers comp benefits are recovered for you.
- Alex Berman is the founder of the law firm. He’s been representing injured and disabled workers exclusively for more than 30 years. Alex has helped countless people obtain workers compensation benefits and never charges a fee to evaluate a case.
- Photo courtesy of Creative Commons, by takomabibelot.