What does light duty mean for your workers' compensation benefits

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You were just hurt at work and your doctor put you on light duty, or gave you work restrictions. For example, if you fell and hurt your knee, your doctor may restrict you from climbing ladders or standing for more than a certain amount of time.Or, if you hurt your shoulder, you might be restricted from using that arm, etc.

What does that mean for your job?

One of two things, either your employer will provide a light duty job for you or he/she won't. According to DC, Maryland and Virginia workers comp laws, it's completely up to employers to offer light duty jobs for their injured workers. 

What does this mean for your workers compensation benefits?

If your employer has light duty jobs or created one for you, you would receive your regular salary instead of workers compensation benefits for the time you are on light duty.

Note: Even if you are receiving your regular salary during this time, you may still be entitled to additional workers comp benefits, called temporary partial disability. (With temporary partial disability the worker is paid 2/3 of his or her average weekly wage.) If your employer does not have light duty work for you, they have to pay your full workers compensation benefits, called temporary total disability.

Remember: Always make sure that whatever light duty job you do, that it is within your doctor's restrictions. You do not want to do anything to risk further injury or delay the recovery of your injury.

Frank R. Kearney, Attorney-at-Law
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Experienced DC Workers' Comp, Long Term Disability & Accident Lawyer
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