If an injured worker has been sent back to work on light duty and they are finding that they are still experiencing pain, they should communicate this with their physician so that their condition can be re-assessed. After the employee has been re-evaluated, their physician can either1:
- Take them out of work.
- Change their work restrictions.
- Leave their work status unchanged.
Generally, once an employee has been released back to work by their doctor on light duty, their employer should ensure the position meets the restrictions the doctor has set. For instance, if an employee is restricted from lifting heavy objects while being released on light duty, their employer should not have them perform any tasks that require heavy lifting.
In the event an employer does not have an available position for the injured worker that meets the physician’s restrictions, the injured worker may be able to continue receiving workers’ comp benefits. Employees should be aware, however, that they are generally only permitted to collect benefits for temporary total disability and temporary partial disability for a total of 104 weeks.2
When an Employer Doesn’t Have a Position that Meets an Injured Worker’s Light Duty Restrictions
If an employer does not have a position that meets an injured worker’s light duty restrictions and they have exhausted their workers’ comp benefits, they may qualify to receive reemployment services. These services aim to help workers who suffered on-the-job injuries return to work “when their work-related injury or illness prevents them from returning to their usual line of work.”3
In the event an employer doesn’t have an available position for an injured worker and they do not qualify to receive reemployment services, they may only be left with the following options:
- Work the available position.
- Seek new employment.
- Consult with a Miami, FL workers’ comp lawyer to find out if they are still eligible to receive workers’ comp benefits.
Sometimes, injured workers are released back to work when they aren’t physically able to resume their duties. In the event they still qualify for workers’ comp benefits, an attorney can determine the steps that need to be taken so that the employee is able to spend more time recovering while still receiving wage replacement and medical benefits.
Connect with a Local Workers’ Compensation Attorney
In the event an injured worker has questions or concerns regarding returning to work on light duty, they can contact Mario Trespalacios P.A. to speak with an experienced workers’ comp lawyer. Mario Trespalacios P.A. offers free consultations to those who have been injured in a work-related accident and can be reached at 305-261-5800.
Mario Trespalacios P.A. can be contacted at:
9495 SW 72 Street, Suite B-275
Miami, FL 33173