If I Win the Lottery do I Lose My Workers’ Comp Benefits?

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The short answer is No. Winning the lottery will not alter your eligibility for workers’ comp (WC).

The dollar amount of a workers’ comp benefit is calculated based upon an injured worker’s pre- and post-injury wages.  In a case involving ongoing benefits, the injured worker is required to disclose any increase in earnings that may change either the worker’s eligibility or the benefit amount.

It may seem logical then, that winning the lottery should be reported, and a new test of the worker’s eligibility be conducted, as well as a new dollar amount for comp benefits calculated.

However, Herndon workers’ compensation attorney Doug Landau points out that, unless the person in question happens to be a professional gambler (!),  lottery earnings are not “wages” or “earned income”, and therefore do not count when it comes to workers’ comp.

The intent of workers’ compensation payments is to remunerate a worker who was injured while performing the duties of his or her job.  The monetary benefit is, in some way, intended to be a “partial wage replacement system” — or at least get the disabled worker close to his or her pre-injury state.

Winning the lottery has nothing to do with the employer’s responsibility to make an injured worker whole again.  It is a lucky break for an injured worker and one that can be truly celebrated!  If you or someone you know has been injured at work, whether or not they have any lottery winnings, and there are questions as to what laws apply, email or call Abrams Landau, Ltd. at once (703-796-9555).

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