How Light Duty Affects Your Workers’ Comp Benefits
While many workers who have been injured on the job have to take time off to fully recover while using workers’ compensation, there are some cases in which employers allow workers to return to work for “light duty.” Light duty can be granted after a medical evaluation determines how serious your injuries are and how much work you can perform. Light duty refers to employers placing injured workers in a less physically demanding role so they can work while they recover.
There are various categories of light duty that you can be placed in, depending on the nature of the work, including:
- Modification of equipment: This refers to your employer giving you equipment that can allow you to perform tasks. One example is if you’re in a job that requires the moving of heavy items, you may be given a cart or lifting device so as not to injure yourself further.
- Reassignment: Some employers move injured workers into a different job role that requires less physical exertion, which means you may be earning the same amount or less than you did in your previous position.
- Job restructuring: In restructuring, employers give demanding job roles to another employee and assigns the injured worker less demanding tasks associated with their job.
Examples of Light Duty
Workplace injuries can range from minor to serious and include cuts and abrasions, sprains and fractures, broken bones, spinal cord and neck injuries, burns, internal bleeding, head and brain trauma, and sometimes death. Many workplace accidents include slip and fall, whether they be on a construction site or in a typical office.
To accommodate injuries, light duty work is less physically or mentally demanding than normal job roles, and can include tasks like:
- Simple office tasks
- Supervising and reporting on job sites
- Working a desk job
- Monitoring surveillance cameras
- Taking inventories
- Performing equipment maintenance
How Does Light Duty Affect Your Workers’ Comp Claim?
If you return to work for light duty after an accident, your workers’ comp claim may be affected. Because you’re still getting paid for your light duty work, you won’t be able to receive workers’ comp benefits for lost wages. However, if your light duty responsibilities pay you less than you were earning before your accident, you may still be able to receive lost wage payments.
It’s important to speak to a workers compensation lawyer to discuss your options and determine whether returning to work or staying home to recover and collect benefits is the right decision for you.
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Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. serve injured individuals and families after devastating accidents. Whether you’ve been injured in a car accident, work accident, as a result of medical malpractice, or had a loved one pass away in an accident, we can take on your case and deliver the results you need to move forward with your life. Our personal injury team understands this may be a particularly vulnerable and stressful time for you, which is why we strive to remove your financial worries through effective legal representation aimed to achieve full and fair compensation. Just when you think you’re out of options, our team can be at your side to provide a solution.
If you need legal counsel to help you determine whether you should return to work, or on any workers’ compensation matter, call our team at (704) 850-6322, or contact us online. Price Petho & Associates P.L.L.C. are devoted to helping clients secure the compensation they need to fully recover from their injuries and return to normal life.