How does being cleared for light duty affect my Workers’ Compensation claim?

If you have been injured during the course of employment, you are entitled to wage-loss benefits while you are unable to work due to your injury. You may be wondering what happens in the event that the employer’s doctor clears you to return to light-duty work that is within your medical restrictions.

First, if you are cleared to return to light-duty work, you can continue receiving workers’ compensation benefits until the employer notifies you that light-duty work is available. Once you receive a light-duty offer, you can choose to accept or decline the offer.

If the offer is declined because you feel that you are unable to return to work, the employer can file a petition to terminate or modify your workers’ comp benefits. The workers’ compensation judge would then decide whether your WC benefits should be terminated or modified following a hearing. However, you would be able to use your own testimony and the testimony of your own doctor to try to establish that you truly are unable to return to work in a light-duty capacity.

If, on the other hand, you accept the light-duty offer, you would then be entitled to partial-disability benefits and you would receive two-thirds of the difference in pay if you are being paid less than what you were earning prior to the injury.

If your employer’s doctor has cleared you to return to work, but you feel that you cannot physically return to work, please call me to discuss your case, (484) 362-9286. My office is located in Bethlehem, PA.

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