Dear Madam or Sir in Amherst:
It really troubles me to think your own lawyer did not tell you this, or did and you didn't "get" it.
After you get your check, you can go play goalie for the New York Rangers or take any job anywhere for any money. With payment, your cases is forever closed.
Do you feel that you SHOULD be charged with WC fraud? If you did not exaggerate your claim, you should be able to look for injury appropriate employment immediately. If you told them that you cannot walk, but take a job unloading UPS trucks, you might have an issue.
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In a NYS Section 32settlement after the settlement is approved at a hearing by the workers' compensation law judge, there is a 10 day statutory waiting period during which any party may withdraw from the agreement for any reason. Once that period expires without anyone withdrawing, the settlement becomes final. A Section 32 settlement may settle all issues in a claim or only specified ones. Assuming all issues were resolved and your workers' compensation claim is permanently closed, the carrier and Workers' Compensation Board are done with you and you may seek employment immediately. As pointed out previously, the assumption is also that you did not commit fraud or the judge would not have approved the settlement. If you go from total disability to a heavy duty , phsically laborious job immediately after receiving your settlement check, then that could raise some eyebrows. If you were represented by an attorney in your workers' compensation cliam you can certainly run this question and any anticipated employment circumstances by her or him as they would be fully acquainted with the details of your case.
This answer does not constitute legal advice nor does it create any attorney client relationship. It is provided for general purposes only and you should not rely upon it in making any decisions. You should consult with an attorney licensed in your state who is experienced in the area of law involved in your question.
This really should be reviewed by your Workers Comp lawyer. However, in a typical Section 32 settlement, the carrier is no longer interested in what you are doing after the settlement. BUT, it would be careless for you to make a decision on this issue without discussing it with your lawyer.