People get hurt at work every day in Georgia. Often times, these injuries are debilitating. It's important to understand your rights. The last thing you want to do it return to work too soon or risk re-injury.
Here are 3 important things to understand before returning to light duty after workers' compensation.
If the authorized treating physician releases a worker to light duty after they have been totally disabled and receiving workers' compensation checks, the employee is not required to go back to work and try the light duty job unless and until the employer and insurer do 3 things:
- Your employer / insurer has to send the authorized treating physician a description of the light duty job to be performed - this includes the hours to be worked, the rate of payment, and a description of the essential tasks to be performed.
If we do not agree with the description, or if we have reservations about our client being able to do the job because of their injuries or medications, this gives us a chance to speak with the doctor and voice our objections.
Also, the board rule requires that the injured worker have been seen by the authorized doctor within the last 60 days for the doctor to have an opinion.
- The authorized doctor has to approve the light duty job for the injured worker.
If the doctor doesn't approve it, then the worker does not have to return to the light duty job.
- If the doctor approves the light duty job, then the employer/insurer have to send the injured worker and their attorney a WC-240 Form.
This is a notice to the employee that the light duty job is being made available to them, the doctor has approved it, and this is the date, time and place they are to report to work. This notice has to be sent with 10 days advance notice to the worker and the worker's attorney.
If a client of mine is released to return to light duty work, I tell them DO NOT GO BACK to work unless and until the employer/insurer comply and complete the WC 240 Form and send it to me.
Workers' compensation claims are extremely difficult and complicated.
If you have been injured in on the job, fill out our free case evaluation.