Being out of work due to injury makes many people feel restless. You are used to going to a job every day, and you may wish you could get out of the house and do something as you heal up from your injury.
You might also want to make a little money on the side. While workers’ compensation covers part of your regular salary, you don’t get all of it, and some people who filed for workers’ comp have their claims denied or delayed, leading to financial concerns.
The perfect solution might seem to be landing a part-time gig as an Uber or Lyft driver. Many injured workers can’t return to their job duties yet, but they can drive a car. Should you pursue this second line of income? The answer is complicated, as it is with so many workers’ compensation issues.
Drive for Uber or Lyft on Workers’ Comp
Technically, you may be able to drive for Uber or Lyft while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The Commonwealth Court of Pennsylvania recently ruled that people collecting unemployment can do such work without sacrificing their benefits. It indicated that since the job was not permanent or intended as a replacement for the lost job, driving for Uber or Lyft could be considered side work while searching for a full-time job.
This same logic may apply to workers’ compensation. You are allowed to get a part-time job in Pennsylvania and still collect workers’ compensation. You must report the job to your employer, as the salary will count against your workers’ comp benefits. For that reason, many people decide not to pursue part-time work and instead focus on their recovery so they can return to their job as soon as possible.
If you do decide to pursue a Lyft or Uber job, keep these things in mind:
- Your employer’s insurance company may try to make it look as though you are faking your injury, arguing you are OK to drive, so you should be OK to work.
- You still have to attend mandatory doctor’s appointments, physical therapy and other things that will help you heal from your injury.
- You have to report the earnings to the workers’ comp carrier or your employer, no matter how tempting it may seem to keep quiet. If you fail to report it, the insurance company may argue it’s a sign of duplicity and try to revoke your benefits. Or worse, they could argue that you intentionally hid those earnings and try to prove that you committed insurance fraud. It’s not worth the risk. If you earn money while receiving workers comp benefits from a Pennsylvania injury, you should report those earnings to your workers’ comp carrier or pre-injury employer.
Can I Uber While on PA Workers’ Comp?
Before you attempt to drive for Lyft or Uber while on workers’ comp, speak to an experienced attorney who can advise you on ways to make ends meet during your injury. Frommer D’Amico can help.
We can discuss what you can and cannot do while collecting workers’ comp and also assist you in securing the benefits you deserve from your employer. We only take workers’ comp cases, and we never represent employers, only employees. We also charge lower fees. Contact us today to set up a free consultation by filling out our online form or calling 717-400-1000.