Legal Question in Workers Comp in North Carolina

Starting a business while on WC

I have been out of work for 9 months and collecting the maximum WC benefit for NC. I am still in severe pain (I had a double fusion in my neck) and am still under the care of a Pain Mananagement Dr through WC. I was a high wage earner prior to my surgery (6 figures) and what I am receiving in WC benefits is 1/4 of what I was accustomed to clearing each month. I know I will never be able to return to my career, but I cannot continue to survive on what WC pays me. Here is my question: I want to start my own home internet buiness. I can do this because what I have researched and chosen would not require much more of me than manageing the business online from the comfort of my home using my laptop while sitting on the sofa or lying in my bed, should I desire. My worries are: If I am not successful, I cannot afford to take the chance of losing what little money WC does send me. What are my options as far as giving this a go without interupting or losing my WC. Of course I do not care if I lose it if and when I am successful in this venture.

Any advice anyone could offer would be greatly appreciated.

Asked on 10/17/06, 6:01 am

2 Answers from Attorneys

George Lennon Lennon, Camak & Bertics, PLLC

Re: Starting a business while on WC

A proper response would require much more information, but - in general - earning wages while you claim to be disabled could be considered fraud. The wc carrier could seek a credit because of earnings and earnings could affect your right to receive Social Security Disability or long term disability benefits. You should get an experienced wc attorney involved now. Since you have an accepted case, many will not charge a fee from your current benefits. Get a specialist.

Good luck.

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Answered on 10/17/06, 12:45 pm

Stephen Camak Lennon, Camak & Bertics, PLLC

Re: Starting a business while on WC

Proceed with caution. The WC carrier is looking for any opportunity to cut you off. A claimant's demonstrated or UN-demonstrated wage earning capacity are favorite methods. You could be charged criminally for fraud as well. Most self-start businesses fail, so you may well lose both business income and weekely wc checks. Call a wc specialist to discuss your options in more detail. Go to for links to the Industrial Commission and other helpful sources of information also. Good luck!

S. Neal Camak

Attorney at Law

Raleigh, NC

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Answered on 10/22/06, 3:38 pm

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