The workers’ compensation doctor has released me to light duty work, but my employer does not have any light duty work available. Am I still entitled to my workers’ compensation checks?
Yes, as long as you continue to make reasonable efforts to look for work within your physical restrictions as outlined by your doctor. Note that we are not talking about a situation where your doctor has you held totally out of all work. In that situation you are not expected to look for any work.
This is where you are allowed to return to work with restrictions.
What are reasonable efforts? We recommend that you look for a minimum of two jobs per day, unless it is a day that you are laid up in a hospital or engaged in medical treatment for the majority of the day. We also recommend that you keep a detailed, organized, running list of each and every place that you have looked for work, even if it is just a phone call to that employer. You should write down the name, address, and phone number of the potential employer, whom you spoke with, and the reason you were not hired. We have job search log sheets that we can forward to you to help keep you organized. It is very important to retain that information and forward it to your lawyer from time to time.
The exception to this requirement would be if it is clear and obvious that your age, inexperience, lack of education, or other pre-existing factors would make a job search futile.
In any event, if you fulfill either of these conditions, that is, either 1) you are under physical restrictions and you are making reasonable efforts to look for work, but cannot find any work within your restrictions OR 2) it would be futile, given your age, experience, etc. to do so, you are considered to be temporarily, totally disabled and you are entitled to continue to receive your workers’ compensation as long as you continue to be under those physical restrictions.
Please feel free to call us at 1-888-694-1671 for further guidance about returning to work after your injury.