When you’re injured on the job, you’ll need time to heal. In most cases, you’ll eventually return to work in some capacity. Depending on the injury, however, your medical restrictions may make it inadvisable or impracticable to go back to your old duties.
Your medical provider will evaluate you to determine whether you’re physically able to do your job, given the current state of your injuries. They’ll provide your workplace with a list of your medical restrictions. If your job can provide you with a light duty position, you can return to work and start earning income once more.
However, the Ohio Bureau of Workers’ Compensation (BWC) has restrictions on light duty jobs, designed to protect the worker.
Returning to work with medical restrictions
Although returning to work is desirable, there’s no guarantee that it will work out the way you planned. There may not be an appropriate position available, or you may feel pressured to take on more than you can handle.
Understanding your rights will help ensure that you remain protected. Here’s what you need to know:
- No obligation to provide a light duty job: First, your employer is not obligated to provide you with a light duty job. If they are unable to find work that complies with your medical restrictions, you don’t have to return to work. Instead, you will likely continue receiving your temporary total disability (TTD) payments.
- Lower-paying jobs may be eligible for partial benefits: If your employer does offer you a light duty job, but it pays less or you can only work part-time due to medical restrictions, you should be eligible for partial benefits. They will be equal to two-thirds of the difference between your regular and light duty pay.
- Declining work could eliminate TTD eligibility: If you’re offered work that complies with your medical restrictions, it may be part-time or in a different capacity. If you decline that job, your TTD benefits may be terminated. You won’t have income during your recovery, and often will not have any legal recourse.
- You have the right to get re-evaluated: Finally, if you find that you’re unable to perform your light duty job, go back to your doctor. Even when your workplace is complying with the restrictions, your recovery may not be as straightforward as another patient’s. Get re-evaluated to ensure you’re not jeopardizing your recovery.
A workers’ compensation attorney can help you navigate your claim and return to work. If you have questions about returning to work with medical restrictions, call Nager, Romaine, & Schneiberg Co. L.P.A. today.