Can You Work While on Workers’ Comp in California?

Did you know that in California, more than 700,000 workplace injuries occur each year? With such a staggering number, it’s crucial to understand how workers’ compensation benefits function in relation to their employment status. But can you work while on workers’ comp in California?

Workers’ compensation is a type of insurance that pays medical and financial benefits to employees who are injured or become ill while doing their job. It’s vital to note that workers’ compensation laws vary by jurisdiction, so you should be aware of the specific regulations in your area.

In this article, we will explore the restrictions, reporting requirements, and potential implications of working while on workers’ comp in California. If you’ve ever wondered about the interplay between employment and workers’ compensation benefits, keep reading to uncover the essential considerations that await you.

Workers’ Comp Benefits and Employment Status

If you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits in California, your employment status may impact your eligibility and the amount of benefits you receive. It’s important to understand how your employment status can affect your workers’ compensation benefits.

If you’re classified as a temporary worker or an independent contractor, you may face additional challenges in obtaining and maintaining workers’ compensation benefits. Temporary workers are often hired through staffing agencies and may not be considered employees of the company they’re assigned to. As a result, they may not be eligible for workers’ compensation benefits through that company.

On the other hand, if you’re a regular employee and you’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits, your employment status may impact the amount of benefit you receive. For example, if you’re working reduced hours or in a modified position due to your work-related injury, your benefits may be reduced to account for the income you’re still earning.

Restrictions on Working While on Workers’ Comp

When receiving workers’ comp benefits in California, there are certain restrictions on working while on workers’ comp. It’s important to understand these restrictions to avoid any potential issues with your benefits.

While you’re on workers’ compensation, you’re generally not allowed to work for any other employer. This means that you can’t take up any other job or engage in any work-related activities that could potentially aggravate your injury or hinder your recovery process.

However, there are some exceptions to this rule. If your treating physician approves, you may be able to do a modified or alternative job that accommodates your injury. This could involve lighter duties or a different position altogether.

It’s crucial to communicate with your physician and the workers’ compensation insurance company to ensure that any work you undertake while on workers’ compensation falls within the allowed restrictions. Failure to comply with these restrictions could result in the suspension or termination of your benefits.

Reporting Work Activities to Your Employer

To ensure compliance with workers’ compensation regulations, it’s important to report your work activities to your employer. When you’re on workers’ compensation in California, you must provide regular updates about any work you’re performing, whether it’s paid or unpaid. Reporting your work activities is crucial to maintaining transparency and avoiding potential legal issues.

As an employee on workers’ compensation, you’re required to inform your employer about any work you have performed, even if it’s temporary or part-time. This includes any work you do for yourself, such as self-employment or starting a small business. It’s essential to report all work activities, no matter how insignificant they may seem.

By reporting your work activities, you ensure that your employer and the workers’ compensation insurance company have accurate information about your employment status. This helps prevent any discrepancies or misunderstandings that could impact your workers’ compensation benefits.

Impact on Workers’ Comp Benefits

Reporting your work activities while on workers’ compensation in California has a direct impact on your benefits. It’s crucial to understand that if you fail to report your work activities, it can jeopardize your workers’ compensation benefits. In California, the law requires injured workers to report any income they receive while they’re receiving workers’ compensation benefits. This includes not only wages from a new job but also any other sources of income, such as self-employment or rental income.

When you report your work activities, the insurance company can adjust your benefits accordingly. If your new job pays less than your pre-injury job, you may be eligible for temporary partial disability benefits, which can supplement the difference in wages. On the other hand, if your new job pays more than your pre-injury job, your benefits may be reduced or even terminated.

Failing to report your work activities can have serious consequences. If the insurance company discovers that you have been working without reporting it, they can take legal action against you. This can result in the loss of your workers’ compensation benefits as well as potential fines or penalties.

Important Considerations for Working While on Workers’ Comp

If you’re working while on workers’ compensation in California, there are important considerations you should keep in mind. It’s crucial to inform your employer about your intention to work while on workers’ compensation. Failure to do so may result in legal consequences and could potentially impact your workers’ compensation benefits. By notifying your employer, you ensure transparency and compliance with the law.

It’s essential to remember that any income you earn while on workers’ compensation may affect your benefit payments. The amount of money you receive as workers’ compensation is typically based on a percentage of your pre-injury wages. If you’re earning income from another source, your benefit payments may be reduced accordingly.

You should be aware of any restrictions or limitations imposed by your treating physician. While working, you must adhere to these restrictions to avoid exacerbating your injury or jeopardizing your workers’ compensation claim. It’s advisable to consult with an experienced workers’ compensation attorney to understand your rights and obligations. They can provide guidance on navigating the complexities of working while on workers’ compensation and ensure that you’re protected throughout the process.


While it’s possible to work while on workers’ compensation in California, there are restrictions and important considerations to keep in mind. You must report your work activities to your employer, and it may impact your workers’ compensation benefits. It’s important to understand the specific guidelines and regulations in order to ensure compliance and protect your rights.