Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer: Will My Benefits Be Terminated if I Refuse a Light-Duty Position?

The whole point of workers compensation is to allow employees to recover from their workplace injuries so they can return to work. The problem is that some employers like to pressure their workers to come back to work before they’re ready. If you fear that this is what is happening to you, contact one of our Orlando workers comp lawyers.

The Goal of Workers Compensation Is to Get You Back to Work as Quickly as Possible

We understand that your employer wants you back to work as soon as possible. At the same time, our primary concern is that you have a chance to fully recover from your workplace injuries.

This cannot happen if you’re forced to return to work too soon. Depending on the nature and extent of your injuries, it may take some time before you’re ready to go back. If you go back to work too soon, you can reinjure yourself or suffer a new injury.

The Insurance Company Doesn’t Want to Pay You to Stay Out of Work 

Your employer isn’t the only one who wants you to return to work as quickly as possible. The insurance company does too. They’re the ones who are paying for your medical care. They’re also paying your weekly benefits while you’re out of work.

Clearly, the insurance adjuster assigned to your case will pressure you to return to work. Every week they have to pay your benefits is money out of their pockets. This is why it’s important that you have a seasoned Orlando workers comp lawyer there to help you when the pressure gets to be too much.

Your Employer Cannot Afford to Hold Your Job for Very Long

Aside from the cost of your benefits, there are other reasons why your employer wants you back. While you’re out of work, someone has to fill in for you. Your employer will have to either transfer someone over to your position or hire someone.

If they have to hire someone, it’ll cost them money to hire and train that person. Even if they transfer someone from another department, they’ll have to train them. And then they will have to have someone fill in for them. It can be expensive and inconvenient.

Your Workers Compensation Doctor Will Determine When You’re Ready to Take a Light-Duty Position

When you first get hurt at work, you’ll be assigned a state-approved workers compensation doctor. This is the person who will oversee your medical treatment. They are also the person who determines when you’re ready to go back to work.

This is important for two reasons. First, the doctor will be the one who confirms when you’re ready to go back to work. This will happen once they determine you’ve achieved maximum medical improvement.

Second, the doctor will also let your employer know when you’re able to go back to work in a light-duty position. You may need further treatment for your workplace injury. However, you may be able to answer phones or meet with customers.

Your Doctor May Say That You Can Return to Your Old Position Part-Time

There are times when there are no light-duty positions available. If this is the case, your doctor may say that they think you can handle working part-time. They may discharge you back to work for 20-25 hours per week.

For example, imagine that you’re a hairstylist. You normally work ten hours a day, four days a week. You’re on your feet the entire time. Your doctor may release you back to work two days a week instead of four. They may think you can handle half the stress of your job while you continue to recover. 

An injured worker in a light-duty position

If You’re Pressured to Return to Work Before You’re Ready, Call an Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer

The problem with light-duty positions is that they aren’t always a perfect fit. You may not believe you can physically perform the duties of the light-duty position. If this is the case, you need to let your Orlando workers comp lawyer know right away.

If you simply refuse to accept the light-duty position, your benefits may be terminated. 

Your Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer Can Get a Second Opinion

If you truly don’t think you can do the light-duty job, call your Orlando workers comp lawyer immediately. Don’t wait a few days. The same day your employer calls you, direct them to your attorney’s office.

When they tell your attorney that they want you to return to work, your Orlando workers comp lawyer can let them know what’s going on. If they refuse to be reasonable about it, your Orlando workers comp lawyer can get a second opinion from an independent doctor. If they agree that you’re not ready to return to work, it may buy you the additional time you need to fully recover.

It’s Very Hard to Convince the Insurance Company That You Aren’t Able to Work a Light-Duty Position

One thing you need to remember is that it will not be easy to convince your employer that you’re not ready to come back to work. The way they see it, they’re doing you a favor by letting you ease back into your job.

Sometimes, it can be hard for your employer to believe that you can’t handle a light-duty position. This is especially true if the position involves light office work or phone work. For example, if you hurt your knee at work, it’ll be hard to argue that you can’t sit at a desk and do data entry or typing. 

Your Orlando Workers Comp Lawyer Will Do Their Best to Protect You

We recommend that anybody who is hurt on the job should talk to an Orlando injury lawyer. It may not seem like it now, but the way you handle your worker compensation claim can have a significant impact on your career.

Rather than try to handle things on your own, take the time to sit down with an experienced Orlando workers comp lawyer. We do offer all new clients a free, initial consultation.