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My workers’ compensation doctor approved me for light-duty work, but my employer says it doesn’t have any light-duty work available. What should I do?

Many workers’ compensation benefits are temporary. Generally, if an employee’s medical condition is expected to improve over time, they will be paid temporary total disability benefits until they are able to return to work. However, an employee does not necessarily need to fully recover before they are expected to go back to work. If a worker’s doctor approves them for light-duty work, then the employee will be required to check-in with their employer to see if such work is available. If it is, they must take the light-duty job, and workers’ compensation benefits will make up the difference in pay, if any.

However, in some situations, a doctor approves an employee for light-duty work, but the employer does not have any of these positions available. For example, if a construction worker is injured on the job, their employer may not have a light-duty position available when the employee’s condition improves. When this happens, an injured worker will generally remain eligible for continuing workers’ compensation benefits, provided they continue to receive authorized medical care for their injuries. These benefits will continue until the date the authorized health care provider indicates the employee reached of maximum medical improvement. Maximum medical improvement is the point where an employee’s condition is no longer expected to improve, even with continued medical care.

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The highly competent lawyers at Petrillo and Goldberg represent clients with personal injury claims, workers compensation claims, slip-and-fall cases and automobile accident victims. We work for you, and take our job of getting the best possible results for you seriously.