Light Duty Assignment
Light Duty Restrictions and Related Benefits
If you suffered a work-related injury and have restrictions that prevent you from returning to your regular work responsibilities, an employer may ask you to return to work in a light duty position. If the light duty job is clearly defined, offered in good faith, and is within your restrictions, it is often in your best interest to return to work. In some cases, the light duty job pays less than your regular job. In those circumstances, you may be entitled to workers’ compensation benefits that partially make up the pre-injury/post-injury difference in pay. That supplemental benefit is called working wage loss compensation.
If your employer doesn’t have a light duty job within your restrictions or if you have separated from your employer of record, you may still be entitled to wage loss benefits. Working wage loss benefits are sometimes available to injured workers who have returned to work with a different employer in a position that is less physically demanding than their former job. Further, if you are unable to return to your former employer in a light duty capacity and are also unable to find other light duty work, you may qualify for non-working wage loss.
In many cases, to be eligible for non-working wage loss compensation, an injured worker must satisfy specific criteria including (but not limited to): registering with the Ohio Department of Job and Family Services; conducting and documenting a thorough and extensive job search; contacting the employer of record to determine if they have a suitable light duty job within your restrictions; and registering with one or more temporary work agencies.
Qualifying for either working or non-working related benefits can be complicated and over-whelming. If you have restrictions related to a work injury and aren’t sure if you are receiving all workers’ compensation benefits to which you are entitled, please contact our experienced team of workers’ compensation attorneys for a free evaluation.