I am out of work and receiving Workers’ Compensation benefits, do I need to look for work?

If you are found, by the Workers’ Compensation Board, to be totally disabled then you are under no obligation to look for work. However, if you are partially disabled and receiving benefits you have an obligation to “attach to the labor market.” This is an absolute requirement and we cannot stress the importance of this enough. Under the law, a partially disabled person can only continue to get their weekly checks if they are actively seeking employment, or actively retraining. An adequate job search will prevent the insurance company from arguing that you have voluntarily withdrawn from the labor market and stopping your payments. Keep in mind that while your doctor may tell you that you are totally disabled but the judge may find you to be partially disabled based on conflicting medical evidence or other factors in which case you must still remain “attached to the labor market.”

Alternatively, you can attend school full time, seek retraining, vocational rehabilitation or something of that nature. There are several services that can help you such as Rochester Works or Acces VR.

If you are partially disabled and looking for work please be sure to keep a detailed log of all attempts at finding work. This should include: the name of the potential employer, their address and phone number, the name of the person you contacted (if any), the method of contact, whether you completed and application, whether you had an interview, any follow up action completed (phone calls etc), and the outcome of the contact.

While there is no set number of jobs that you are required to apply for, we recommend that at a minimum your should be applying to several jobs a week and following up with employers every week. This will prevent interruption in your benefits. Always remember that you do not have to secure a job but you do have to seek out work within your work restrictions.

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