For anyone new to the work comp system, it seems there are always more questions than answers. If you haven’t been through the system, it’s all new and can be very confusing. A frequent question we hear is “does my employer have to provide modified work within my doctor’s restrictions following a work injury?”
The short answer is no. Unless you have an employment contract dealing with this issue, the employer is not required to provide light duty work. How can this be fair?
If you have an accepted work injury your claim will be handled under Minnesota’s workers’ compensation laws and your benefits will be paid by the work comp insurer. Let’s say you have injured your shoulder at work and the claim is accepted. If you miss time from work as a result of the shoulder injury, you will be entitled to wage loss benefits (see this earlier post dealing with the type of wage loss benefits generally available).
If your doctor has given you restrictions such as “no overhead work” or “no lifting more than 25 pounds” with your injured arm, the employer will have to decide whether they can accommodate those restrictions. Some employers will provide light duty work that an employee can do within those restrictions, often without any wage loss. Other employers simply may not have “light duty” work available and the injured employee continues to receive work comp wage loss benefits until he or she is able to return to the preinjury job.
Other benefits available
In addition to wage loss benefits, an injured employee is also entitled to payment of all related medical expenses, including mileage. Also, vocational rehabilitation benefits may be available including assignment of a Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) to assist you with your return to work and helping manage your medical treatment.
For more information regarding other benefits which might be available following a work injury, please see some of our earlier posts:
Contact Bradt Law Offices for a free consultation
If you have been injured on the job and have questions about your claim or the Minnesota work comp system, please don’t hesitate to give us a call. You can contact us, anytime, with questions about your case or to arrange an absolutely free consultation. It won’t cost you anything and we will always give you our honest assessment about whether you need a lawyer to represent you. If you have questions about how much it costs to hire a lawyer for a Minnesota workers’ compensation case, you can check out this previous post.
Remember, you are dealing with an insurance company which handles hundreds or thousands of claims every day. They have experienced claims adjusters and attorneys managing their files. Even if you don’t need a lawyer at the moment, a little information about the work comp system can make a big difference for you in your dealings with the insurance company. At Bradt Law Offices, we have been providing assistance to injured workers all across northern Minnesota and the Iron Range for more than 36 years.
As always, thank you for visiting our blog and please spread the word that we are a good source of work comp information and assistance for workers injured in northern Minnesota and anywhere on the Iron Range.