Yes, you CAN go on vacation while on workers’ compensation. People are allowed to continue to enjoy their lives as best they can even with an injury.
However, keep in mind, Pursuit magazine,an educational media publisher for professional investigators, says a red flag in a workers’ compensation claim gets raised “when an accident occurs immediately before or after a vacation.” Red flags consist of particular conditions or behaviors commonly found in fraudulent claims.
This means workers’ compensation claimants who decide to go on vacation must follow certain rules. They must stay within their physical limitations. They must not do anything or go anywhere that is restricted by their doctor. They must not miss or cancel any appointments, such as those with a doctor or physical therapist.
Staying within the restrictions requires smart and thorough planning. Even the most relaxing vacations can include some physical exertion. So, for example, if the vacation includes flying in an airplane, be mindful that there may be long airport lines to stand in. If the injury prevents a person from standing for a long time, he or she must be ready to make arrangements to sit down. Claimants with plans to take a vacation should also speak with their doctor and-or physical therapist beforehand. It is not unusual for someone to get a home physical therapy program and do exercises in the hotel room so they don’t fall behind on their rehabilitation
Caution: Insurers have been known to do surveillance. If the workers’ comp claimant is observed or found doing things that he or she is claiming cannot be done because of the injury, then it can come back to cause that person to lose the benefits. Typically, a vacation will not be a problem as long as the doctor isn’t saying the activity is something that cannot be done.
Workers who go on vacation need to be very careful what they post online. Even the appearance of participating in a restricted activity can hurt the workers’ comp claim. Employers have been known to view the social networking sites of employees, looking for workers’ comp fraud.
Important: let your attorney know your plans. A lawyer can also answer any questions on going on vacation when on workers’ compensation.