If you have been using workers' compensation benefits after a work-related accident, you may be evaluated and asked to return to work on a light-duty basis. Knowing what to expect and where to turn when things go wrong is important, so read on for some guidance.
What is Light Duty?
This term can mean various things for hurt workers who have recovered enough to work but not enough to return to their previous position. The determination for a return to work light-duty can follow a special medical exam known as an independent medical examination (IME). Thus, light-duty can mean that you do work for your employer that doesn't involve your injury, that can be performed only part-time, or both. For instance, light-duty work might mean doing more sedentary tasks only.
In most cases, light-duty is a temporary ruling. At some point, it is expected that you will return to regular full-time work. If you disagree with the results of the IME, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer. You may be entitled to have a second IME performed by a different doctor. You don't have to automatically go along with everything the workers' comp insurer wants – speak to your lawyer about your rights.
When Disability Wages Change
When hurt workers have to stay home from work, they may be entitled to partial wage payment. The amount they get is based on their previous salary but is never at the same rate of pay. In most cases, hurt workers can expect to be paid about 66.6% of their previous pay from the workers' comp carrier used by their employer. Once you are ordered to return to work, though, you will be again earning employer-provided wages. That means you can be earning both workers' comp pay along with your regular wages for any part-time work you do under a light-duty determination.
Taking Light-Duty a Step Forward
In some cases, hurt workers are never able to return to work again if it means doing the same work as before. An IME can also determine whether or not a worker is permanently affected by an injury. After this determination, workers may be able to do other work depending on the nature of their permanent disability. It's vital that workers know that this sort of ruling will mean an offer of a settlement by the workers' comp carrier. If you have not yet spoken to a workers' comp lawyer, do so before you accept such a settlement. Some hurt workers are taken advantage of and agree to an inadequate sum of money. To learn more, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer right away.
For more information on what you may be entitled to, contact a workers' comp attorney near you.Share
20 October 2021
When I started my first small business, I had no idea how much I really didn’t know. I was fully prepared to deal with customers, sell product and even handle complaints and returns. What I wasn’t aware of was that there is so much more to it. I was lacking the legal expertise to protect the company and myself. I wanted others to benefit from my experience, mistakes and lessons learned, so I started this blog. From employment law to the legal business contracts you’ll have to sign when you form partnerships, business law is complex. I hope that the information here will help you to be better prepared when you start your business so that you’ll know when you need to call an attorney and when you can handle things yourself.