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Millions of Americans work multiple jobs, and around 400,000 Americans work two full-time jobs.
Working two or more jobs can help people earn more income, but it can also put them at greater risk of suffering on-the-job injuries—especially if one or more of their jobs involves physical labor.
Thankfully, people who work two or more jobs are usually eligible for workers’ compensation benefits, but their eligibility and the amount of money they can receive depends on which job they were working when they get injured.
If you work multiple jobs and are injured at one of them, here’s what you need to know about getting workers’ compensation benefits—and how receiving them may affect your other jobs.
It’s common for people working multiple jobs to have one job where they’re considered an employee (whether part-time, full-time, or even seasonal) and another job where they’re considered a contractor (i.e., rideshare driver, food/grocery delivery, nanny, etc.).
If you work as an employee at one job and as a contractor at another job, you’re only eligible for workers’ compensation benefits if your injury occurs at your job where you’re considered an employee. In Ohio, contractors aren’t covered under the workers’ compensation benefits of the companies they work with or for.
Some people who work multiple jobs may work in an office from the morning to late afternoon, then work in a physical labor-based job such as a retail store or restaurant in the evening. Because the evening job involves more physical labor, they may get injured while working it.
If this applies to you and your injury makes it difficult or impossible for you to do your evening job due to heavy lifting, prolonged standing, or mobility requirements, but it doesn’t affect your ability to do your office job, your workers’ compensation benefits for your evening job will be calculated based on the income you still receive from your office job.
If you’re an employee at one job and a contractor at another, and you get hurt at the job where you’re an employee, your income from your contractor job won’t be factored into your workers’ compensation benefits.
Many serious work-related injuries make it impossible for injured workers to do any jobs, even relatively sedentary ones like office jobs. If you get hurt at a job where you’re eligible for workers’ compensation benefits and can’t perform any work, you should include your income information from any additional workers’ compensation-covered jobs when applying for benefits.
If your workplace injury keeps you out of work at all your jobs, there’s a good chance it will heal enough to allow you to soon return to one job, but not your second or third until it fully heals. In this case, your benefits will be recalculated to account for the full income you’re earning from the job that you’re physically capable of doing.
If you get hurt while working and are unable to work any of your jobs, you will likely receive more money than if you were only unable to work one of your jobs. However, workers’ compensation doesn’t pay more than two-thirds of your entire monthly income when combining all of your jobs. In addition, it’s capped at $1,149 per week in Ohio as of 2023.
Many injured workers are hesitant to apply for workers’ compensation benefits after on-the-job injuries. They may be even MORE hesitant to apply for benefits when they’re including income from other jobs in their benefits applications. Thankfully, Ohio law prevents employers from firing employees for filing for workers’ compensation benefits.
If you work two or more jobs in order to get by, getting hurt at work is the last thing you want to happen. You depend on income from your jobs to keep your head above water, and the thought of losing income from one or all of your jobs, whether temporarily or permanently, is devastating.
The workers’ compensation system in Ohio is difficult enough to navigate when it involves only one job. Trying to get benefits when income from multiple jobs must be considered is extremely complex and requires the knowledge and resources that only an experienced Ohio workers’ compensation attorney has.
Don’t attempt to apply for benefits on your own in such a complex situation. Contact Nurenberg, Paris, Heller & McCarthy today for a free consultation. We know all of the ins and outs of Ohio’s workers’ compensation system, and we won’t let your application or any of your income slip through the cracks.
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