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Light Duty Job – Know Your Rights

• Feb 26th, 2013

You have been totally disabled by the treating physician and then the doctor decides you can do a light duty job. Don’t just return to work because the employer “says” they have light duty job for you. The employer and insurer must follow a certain procedure dictated by the law as outlined in the Statute. The Statute requires the employer and insurer to file certain forms with the Board of Workers’ Compensation before you are required to return to work and try the light duty job.

Your Weekly Benefits Will Be Suspended If Report To Work For A Light Duty Job

First, the doctor must approve a job description that outlines the physical requirement of the light duty job available. He should discuss the light duty position with you. Then the insurance company must file a Form 240 with the Board or WC and send you a copy of the form. The form lists the light duty job, the pay, the hours and the approval by the doctor must be attached. It also gives you a day and time to report. You must be given ten days notice in order for the Form 240 to be valid. Your weekly benefits will be suspended as of the day you are to report to the light duty job.

What If You Feel You Can Not Do The Light Duty Job

Even if you feel that you cannot do the light duty job you must report on the date and at the time listed and really try the light duty job. Be sure to give the job a good faith effort, which means trying the job for an hour or two. The Judge will be critical of an injured worker who does not really give the light duty job a chance. I had a case where the Judge ruled against my client after she only tried the light duty job for thirty minutes. Her benefits were suspended. So, try the job!

If you find that you simply cannot perform the light duty job or the work is not as it was portrayed to the doctors then tell the supervisor that you cannot continue to work the job and then return to the doctor as soon as possible. You have fifteen working days to try the job. As long as you tell the supervisor that you cannot do the job and leave work within those fifteen days your benefits will be reinstated. In other words, this initial return to light duty work could be considered a trial period.

Reinstatement Of Weekly Benefits If You Can Not Do The Light Duty Job

If you work beyond fifteen working days and then decide that the job is not something you can do physically, your benefits will not automatically be reinstated. A judge will have to determine that the job was not something you could do physically before your weekly benefits will begin again.

Try the job only after the employer and insurer have sent you the Form 240. Make every effort to perform the light duty job. Don’t work beyond fifteen days if the light duty job is truly not a job you can do physically. Tell your supervisor that you cannot do the light duty job and return to the doctor. You will be put back on weekly benefits and the employer and insurer will have to reassess the light duty job, adjust it as necessary and start the whole 240 process over again.

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