While every workplace injury should be treated with care and respect, most of these injuries will not render the victim permanently and totally disabled. In fact, many injured employees feel as though they could return to work within a few days, as long as certain accommodations could be made—but is that possible?
When it comes to workers’s compensation many people wrongly assume that they are barred from returning to work until they have reached their maximum medical improvement (MMI), and feel as though they are stuck between a proverbial rock and a hard place—they know they aren’t ready to return to their own position, but they also feel as though they are capable of contributing to some degree.
Light Duty: Returning to Work on Your (and Your Doctor’s) Terms
For individuals who have been injured at work, light duty work may be a viable option that allows them to return to work, albeit in a limited capacity. This may mean allowing them to sit for the duration of their shift, working shorter shifts, or lifting/movement restrictions according to the limitations set forth by their doctor.
Employers are required to investigate possible accommodations for the individual’s medical limitations set forth by their physician. If there is a job in place at your current place of employment, or your job can be modified appropriately for your limitations, you can return to work. You may even be able to collect partial workers’ compensation benefits to make up the difference (if any) in pay from your original position.
If no such position or accommodation exists, you will continue to receive benefits until you reach your MMI. You will be expected to return to work once you are cleared to work with no medical restrictions.
Got Questions? Attorney Chris Hudson Can Help!
It can be confusing knowing what the right strategy is for returning to work during your workers’ compensation case. If you have questions, we are happy to help—simply call our office, or fill out our online contact form to be connected with a firm representative now.