Many injured workers wonder if they will get paid Workers Compensation checks while they are on light duty and the answer is that it really depends on the situation. In order for an injured employee to receive checks from Workers Compensation while they are on light duty, the employer must not be able to accommodate the restrictions. When a claim has been accepted as compensable by the Employer/Carrier, the authorized physician treating the employee will provide work restrictions. Either the employee will be placed on full duty, light duty, or taken out of work completely. An employee placed on full duty is not entitled to lost wage benefits since the doctor believes he or she can return to work performing their regular duty. On the other side, Workers Compensation checks are generally automatically paid while the employee has been taken out of work completely by the doctor. The most complex situation to determine entitlement to wage benefits from Workers Compensation commonly occurs while the employee is placed on light duty.
Generally when an authorized physician places an injured employee on light duty, the doctor is opining that the employee is able to return to work, however there are restrictions placed on the work that can be performed. In this situation, if the injured worker is still working for the employer, there may be entitlement to wage benefits if the employer is not able to accommodate the restrictions provided by the doctor. If the employee is no longer working for the employer where the work accident took place, the question that needs to be answered is whether the employer would have been able to accommodate the restrictions if the employee was still working for the company. This is one common issue that requires litigation in many cases as establishing entitlement to wages requires all of the evidence to be presented.
If an injured employee receives wage benefits while on light duty, the benefit is classified as Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits. The employee is entitled to 64% of his or her pre-injury wages in this situation. This amount is a little lower than what an injured worker receives when taken out of work completely. An injured worker receives Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits in this situation and is entitled to receive 66.67% of his or her pre-injury wages.
As you can see, determining entitlement to Workers Compensation checks while an injured worker is on light duty is a complex area of the law. That is why it is important to hire a Workers Compensation attorney who handles these types of situations. If you were injured on the job or know of someone who was, have them give us a call at (844) 762-8155.