Can You Go On Vacation While On Workers’ Compensation?
Perenich, Caulfield, Avril & Noyes | Workers’ Compensation
Workers’ compensation isn’t without its conditions and limitations. There are instances when a claimant’s behavior can disqualify them from receiving benefits.
For instance, after your injury, your doctor may have advised you against engaging in certain behaviors or participating in certain activities. Why? Some behaviors or activities could exacerbate your injury, slow your recovery, or cause any additional harm. For example, a would doctor might tell an avid football player to not play sports until the doctor determined it was entirely safe to do so.
In this scenario, if the football player ignored the advice of his doctor, he might no longer be able to receive workers’ compensation. Keep that in mind when planning any vacations.
Yes, you technically can go on vacation while getting workers’ compensation benefits. That doesn’t necessarily mean you should. If you absolutely must go on a vacation, make a point of avoiding any activities that go against the recommendations of your physician or any other specialists you’ve seen. Focus on relaxing and recovering from your injury instead.
Don’t Raise a Red Flag
Insurance companies take a variety of steps to identify acts of fraud. It’s not uncommon for insurers to hire investigators to monitor the actions of workers’ compensation claimants. They may also contact the staff of resorts or hotels where claimants are staying while on vacation, asking them to look out for and document any signs that a claimant isn’t actually injured.
It’s best not to plan a vacation while on workers’ compensation if you can wait to take a trip. Taking a vacation either immediately before or after going on workers’ compensation “raises a red flag” to insurance companies.
This is because some claimants commit fraud, using workers’ compensation benefits to cover the cost of their vacations. If you were to take a vacation while on workers’ compensation, this might give an insurer reason to hire an investigator or otherwise monitor you.
They might find evidence showing you ignored your doctor’s advice while on vacation. Or, they could look for signs that you participated in activities that you said you couldn’t participate in due to your injury. If they find strong evidence, this may limit your chances of receiving workers’ compensation.
That’s not to suggest that insurance companies are always in the right when they deny claims by arguing a claimant is committing fraud. It’s possible to do something on vacation that an insurer will say indicates you’re not actually injured or you ignored medical advice. That doesn’t mean they’re correct.
This is another reason to hire a lawyer when filing a workers’ compensation claim. Insurance companies don’t want claimants to commit fraud, but they also don’t want to necessarily compensate claimants at all if they can avoid doing so. Thus, insurers may sometimes argue fraud has been committed when that’s not truly the case.
If you’re accused of committing fraud to receive workers’ compensation benefits, but you’re innocent, your lawyer can potentially defend you against these false accusations. That said, what’s most important to remember is that you may want to avoid going on vacation for now. You don’t want to do anything to jeopardize your chances of receiving the compensation you deserve.
Speak With an Attorney After a Work-Related Injury or Accident
Have you been injured in an accident at work? If the accident was genuinely work-related, you can seek compensation for your medical bills and related losses by filing a workers’ compensation claim. Most employers in Florida are required to have workers’ compensation insurance to provide assistance to injured employees.
Strongly consider hiring an attorney when filing a claim. A lawyer can improve your chances of recovering fair compensation.
They can also advise on what you should and should not do while getting workers’ comp benefits. For example, your attorney can let you know whether going on a vacation at this time is a good idea.