If an injured worker is holding two jobs at the same time he or she has a work accident (or files a claim for an occupational disease), that worker is said to have concurrent employment. Concurrent employment is not the same as consecutive employment. Consecutive employment occurs when a worker has a job with one employer, terminates that employment, and then has a job with a second employer. There are special rules that entitle an injured worker to increased benefits where the injured worker has a concurrent employment at the time of his industrial accident or occupational disease claim.
Even though the worker is injured on one job only, the worker is entitled to give information to his adjuster showing the amount of wages earned with the second, concurrent employer in the 12 weeks or full period of employment before the job accident. Those concurrent wages can then be combined with the wages earned from the first employer when the adjuster calculates the injured worker’s average monthly wage before paying compensation benefits. Including those additional wages from the second employer can often bump up the average monthly wage to the maximum allowable benefit, and this can also greatly increase the amount of the permanent partial disability award.
If an injured worker can return to only one of his jobs as a result of the work injury, he may be entitled to the difference between what he earns after taxes on the one job and what his compensation benefit would be if he were unable to work at all. In that case, the injured worker should send in a copy of the wage stubs and ask his worker’s compensation adjuster to pay the difference.