When You Can Return to Light Duty but Your Employer Has No Work for You

Workers’ compensation provides benefits to employees injured while on the job. Although returning to work might be an option for an injured employee in Des Moines, there could be restrictions. One example is when the worker can only perform light duty work. Sometimes, however, this work isn’t available. 

What to Do When There Is No Light Duty Work Available

Most employees are eager to get back to work after an injury. Being able to perform some type of work is usually better than nothing for most workers. But if the employer isn’t able to accommodate those restrictions, it’s important to consider whether the employer is being unreasonable or truly doesn’t have work.

If there truly is no work available, workers may receive temporary total disability until they are able to return to their previous job or until light duty work becomes available. If it’s a matter of refusing to provide work that is available then it may become necessary to seek help from an attorney.

Tips to Stay Proactive in Getting Back to Work

The following are ways that an injured employee could make it easier to get back to work when placed on restrictions:

  • maintain open communication with the employer;
  • make and keep appointments with doctor;
  • after each appointment, provide an update to the employer; and
  • work with a rehabilitation counselor to find a solution.

Workers’ comp claims can be complicated when a doctor orders light duty or a reduced workload. Workers may still recover benefits if they return to work at a lower paying job, but benefits will change to two-thirds of the difference between the workers’ wages before the injury and current wages while performing light duty jobs.

If there are concerns, discuss them with an attorney who handles work injury claims in Des Moines. You can also check out our free eBook, Iowa Workers’ Compensation An Insider’s Guide to Work Injuries – 7 Deadly Mistakes to Avoid if You are Hurt at Work.

Corey Walker
With 19 years legal experience, Corey has been recognized for his work as an injury attorney.
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