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If you sustained a workplace injury, you can return to work if your treating doctor determines you are well enough to perform your job duties. Some employers provide light duty work programs for injured employees, allowing them to get back to work even before they achieve a full recovery. That said, employers are not required to provide light duty work for injured employees if such positions do not already exist or they cannot reasonably create one. If your doctor determines you are not well enough to return to work or even perform light duty work, you cannot return until you either recover or start light duty work.
If your doctor gives you the green light to perform light duty work, your employer offers it, and you refuse it, this can negatively impact your right to collect temporary income benefits through workers’ compensation insurance. Additionally, refusal of light duty work might also impact an employee’s continuation of employment. If you accept light duty work and your employer attempts to assign duties that exceed the boundaries of your work restrictions, you must contact your doctor and a workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible.
Remember, accepting light duty work will not end your temporary disability benefits. If you can make 70% of your gross average weekly wage, you might receive partial income benefits to account for the difference. You will also continue to receive coverage for medical expenses related to your workplace injury or illness.
Additionally, modified or light duty work has limitations. Employees can work a maximum of 90 days within a 12-month period. In some cases, if the treating doctor provides evidence that the employee can return to his or her regular position after an additional 90 days, the employee can work an additional 90 days of light duty work. However, if the employee cannot return to his or her regular position, the employer can terminate employment. If you were terminated for your inability to resume your job duties, you might still qualify for income benefits through workers’ compensation. Your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier will determine if you are eligible for these benefits.
If you sustained a work-related injury or developed an occupational illness and your employer has workers’ compensation insurance, you might be entitled to these vital benefits. At The Aguirre Law Firm, PLLC, we will help you navigate the process of filing a workers’ compensation claim and ensure you have the best possible chance of success. Our team is backed by more than two decades of experience and unwavering dedication for every client we serve. You should not have to struggle with this process on your own. Put your trust in a workers’ compensation team that will assist you every step of the way and provide the compassionate and knowledgeable legal advice you deserve.
Contact our law office today at (210) 922-0808 to set up a consultation and discuss the details of your case. You will not owe us legal fees unless we win your case.
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