Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Do You Have To Peform "Light Duty" Work Following Your Minnesota Workers Compensation Injury?

If you sustained a Minnesota work related injury, it's likely that at some point your doctor will provide you with work restrictions.  You're employer has the two options;  refuse to accommodate the work restrictions and pay you temporary total disability benefits or offer you temporary "light duty" employment.  If your employer does not accommodate your restrictions and the insurance company doesn't pay your lost wages in the form of temporary total disability benefits, contact one of our expert workers compensation attorneys at Atkinson Law Office immediately!

If your employer offers you light duty work, it may take many forms.  It may be your date of injury job with the elimination of any restricted activities; it may be working in an entirely new temporary position with your employer in another company location or it may be with an entirely different company whereby you are outsourced to perform light duty work.  Yes, you read that right.  Your employer may outsource you to an entirely different company performing job duties that you have never ever performed.  In most cases, all of the above examples are usually temporary.

When a client is offered light duty work, I often want his/her QRC to check that the job is truly light duty as outlined by the doctor.  Often an employer will promise to offer light duty work, tell the employee to "follow their restrictions" but then give them work which they know will NOT actually allow the injured worker to follow the doctors restrictions...and blame YOU the injured worker for not following the restrictions.

I strongly encourage my clients to try the light duty job offer.  Whether for months, weeks or in some cases for only a few hours.  Often your physician will provide you with what they think are your likely restrictions but this is really an educated guess at best.  If you try the work and you have significant ongoing issues performing the tasks or develop severe pain, immediately return to your physician.  The doctor may modify your restrictions or take you back off of work.  If your doctor will NOT modify your restrictions, please talk with an attorney before you "doctor shop" for a second opinion.  In some cases the QRC can help facilitate a better understanding by your doctor of the problems associate with your pain issues and the work.

Finally, you should be aware that if you begin working a temporary light duty job and your take home pay decreases because of a lower wage or inability to perform overtime, you may be entitled to compensaiton for your wage loss.  We call this temporary partial disability and it is 2/3rds of the difference between your "average weekly wage" on your date of injury and your current earnings.  The lawyers in our office would be happy to explain this rule free of charge.

If you have been given "light duty" work restrictions by your doctor, chiropractor or health care professional we strongly urge you to call the expert Minnesota workers compensation attorneys with Atkinson Law Office today.  There is never a fee unless we recover benefits for you and you will never pay our office directly regardless of outcome.  www.mndisability.com or 651-333-3636