Although all injured workers are interested in how much their compensation benefits will be, the Carriers are also interested in how much money an injured worker is earning while recovering from an injury. Under Section 908, the Employer/Carrier can ask for a report of any earnings the injured worker may have received after the accident. This requirement is further outlined under the applicable federal regulations implementing the Act, in 20 C.F.R. §§285-286.
The law requires injured workers to report any earnings they may have received during the period requested. Earnings include any wages, salaries, unemployment benefits, tips, commissions, fees for services provided, revenue from self-employment, even if the business operated at a loss. Earnings are reported on form LS-200. If an injured worker has supporting documentation, such as pay stubs or tax returns, those should be attached as well. The bottom line is that ALL earnings must be reported when requested.
Failure to complete a LS-200 form and return it timely may result in very serious penalties. Under the law, if an injured employee fails to return the completed and signed LS-200 form within two weeks, the injured worker forfeits compensation wage benefits for the period requested in the LS-200 form. (Consider the implications if the LS-200 form requests a report of earnings for a six-month period – and you do not timely respond!)
To ensure our clients have ready access to the LS-200 form, a blank copy is always available on our website under the “Forms” tab, along with other useful documents.
Although reporting earnings is not required unless asked by the Employer/Carrier or the Department of Labor, the best practice is to complete these forms, and include any supporting documentation, if you are earning any wages during your claim. Our office will forward this information to the Employer/Carrier on your behalf.