Off The Record: TRRR Workers’ Comp Work Search
Bill: So we had another situation yesterday with someone who got their benefits cut off because they didn’t do the work search. And, you know, I mean, what’s your experience with this? How do you usually approach that?
Aimee: Well, what I do, because it’s a little overwhelming for people. At the hearing, I do explain that, you know, there’s a classification of total disability versus partial disability under the law. And many people don’t understand that there’s an obligation when you have a partial disability and you’re not totally disabled from all work that you have to look for some work within your restrictions, whether you’re still employed with your employer.
Bill: It’s kind of like when people are getting unemployment, they have to show that they’re attached to the labor force in order to keep their benefits going. It’s the same concept.
Aimee: Right. So the difficulty is that sometimes people are still employed with their employer, and they have a partial disability and there might not be light work for them to do there. So then they have to show that they looked for work elsewhere within their restrictions, the restrictions placed on them by their doctor. And, you know, I always tell people that the best thing to do is just start looking online or through the department of labor. They have some great resources.
Bill: Now, what if you sign up with either One Stop or labor force or one of those things, is that enough?
Aimee: It’s not enough. You have to do a little bit more, like you have to be looking for some jobs. And I tell people, try and look for like a few jobs a day. That helps, but certainly, it’s not enough to just show up there once a week or once a month and you’re not also looking for jobs within your restrictions.
Bill: I think in the city, it’s called Workforce One, and out here it’s One Stop.
Bill: Yeah. But, you know, I know so many jobs searches are done online now. If you want to apply for, say, Target or Walmart or something like that, you do it online. How do you document that? What do you…
Aimee: Well, what I do is I tell people to keep track of all the emails that you sent, you know, either put it on a flash drive or a disc or just print them out so we can have them accessible. We can scan them in here, and then we can present them as documents at their hearing. So I think that’s the best thing to do is show that you’re diligently looking for something within your restrictions. Even if you can’t find something, you’re showing that you’re still making an effort to stay within the labor market.