Most workers who get hurt on the job are fortunate enough to have workers' compensation coverage. This coverage is free of charge to employees who suffer from a work-related injury. The benefits include payment of medical expenses, weekly disability pay, and a settlement if the injury is permanent. You should never have to return to work unless you are ready but sometimes you might be ordered to return to work on light-duty only. Read on to learn more.
What to Expect With Light-Duty
A lot of evaluation goes into the order for light-duty. You must be physically capable of performing the duties of the job. That does not necessarily mean the duties of your previous job, but efforts are made to place you there if appropriate. For example, if you worked as an assembly worker before your injury, you may be assigned to that job but with more rest breaks. In some instances, your employer can place you in an alternate position that suits your level of disability. If you are unhappy with the position you are filling while performing light-duty work, speak to the workers' compensation company. If you are still having problems, speak to a workers' compensation lawyer.
What to Know About Light-Duty Wages
Light-duty wages are based on your previous salary. Since the usual disability wage is only about 66% of your previous wage, light-duty can help workers who are ready and able to earn more money. Each state computes light-duty wages differently but light-duty work is meant to bring workers closer to what they previously earned. Workers cannot, however, earn more than they were earning before the injury. Light-duty work may only be temporary or it might be permanent. If you are ruled to have a permanent disability, you will be offered a settlement from the insurer.
What Know About Taking Action
You should not be placed in a position that is not suitable. You have the right to appeal any workers' compensation decisions and get second opinions on any medical evaluations. Also, speak to an attorney if you are ruled to be permanently disabled. You will need professional help with the negotiations for the settlement. Being permanently disabled from a work-related accident might mean a loss of income for the rest of your life, and you need enough to live on. In addition, you need a lawyer to make sure the settlement is paid in a manner that best benefits you. For example, you should have your payments structured so that you can also be eligible for Social Security benefits. Speak to a workers' compensation attorney for more guidance.