Does having a second job affect my Workers' Comp?

Workers' Compensation 2 Jobs

First Job, Second Job, Wage Rates—How Do I Know What I’m Supposed to Receive in Workers’ Comp?

You get hurt at work. You work a second job. Do the wages you earn at job #2 affect your workers’ compensation case against your main employer?

Your second job income should be factored into your wage rate for the first job workers’ compensation case in most cases.

But let’s back up for a second and remind ourselves what rights workers have under Workers’ Compensation.

What Workers’ Compensation Pays

  • TTD-Temporary Total Disability
  • Medical Benefits
  • PPD-Permanent Partial Disability

How Is This Calculated?

All of this is calculated by factoring your wages earned over the 52 weeks prior to the incident giving rise to your injury. If you did not work a full 52 weeks, the wages are generally divided by the weeks worked. This product is your Average Weekly Wage or AWW.

Using the AWW, we determine the TTD rate for your weekly off work payments, which is 2/3 of the AWW, or the State Minimum, if your AWW is extremely low.

The PPD rate is 60% of the AWW.

Why Does My Second Job Matter?

IF your employer was “aware” of your second job, then the wages from the second job are factored into the wages for the first job (where you were injured) as part of the Average Weekly Wage.

The key here is that your employer must be aware of the second job. If you have a second job, make sure to create a written chain (text, email, letter) demonstrating that the employer is aware of your second job. Often scheduling issues are key in that you work a certain shift in the second job and cannot be scheduled at that time in the first job.

Give Me An Example

Your first job is at Taj Mahal Carpets, where you earn $1,000 a week selling rugs. You work a second job at the Flying Carpet Restaurant as a host, where you earn $500 a week on weekends only.

You get hurt by tripping on a carpet at Taj Mahal, causing a torn meniscus requiring surgery. Your wages should be combined for the two so that your AWW is now $1,500 instead of $1,000.

Why does this matter? Because you will now be paid weekly approximately $1,000 tax-free instead of about $667! It will also increase your permanency settlement because the PPD rate will increase from about $600 to about $900.

So What Should I Do If I Work Multiple Jobs?

  • Create a written history with employer one so they know about employment #2.
  • Put this on the applicaton.
  • Email your bosses so they both know about the other jobs!


  • Figuring your Average Weekly Wage
  • Second Job Income Affects AWW
  • AWW Increases Make Your Workers’ Compensation Case More Valuable
  • Protect Yourself By Putting Things In Writing.

Contact Chicago Personal Injury Lawyer Stephen Hoffman

If you've been in an accident and have questions, contact Chicago personal injury attorney Stephen L. Hoffman for a free consultation at (773) 944-9737. Stephen has nearly 30 years of legal experience and has collected millions of dollars for his clients. He has been named a SuperLawyer, has a 10.0 rating on Avvo, and is BBB A+ accredited.

Stephen handles personal injury and workers' compensation claims on a contingency fee basis, which means you don’t pay anything upfront and he only gets paid if you do. Don’t wait another day, contact Stephen now.

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