What do I need to know about returning to work with restrictions?

returning to work with restrictionsAfter an on-the-job accident, workers in Georgia may be entitled to collect temporary total disability (TTD) workers' compensation benefits while recovering from their injuries.

These benefits are designed to help injured workers get back on their feet, back to work and, as the name suggests, they don't last forever.

If your treating physician releases you to return to work with restrictions, your employer may offer you light duty work, and be able to stop paying you TTD benefits.

Common restrictions and limitations can include:

  • Limited hours
  • Physical restrictions against heavy lifting or repetitive motion activities
  • Light duty work only
  • Prescribed breaks to get up and move around
  • Required use of supportive equipment, such as an ergonomic keyboard or back support

If your doctor recently approved a light duty job for you to return to work with restrictions, keep the following in mind:

  • Returning to work can be a positive development. You get a paycheck and back into the swing of things while your employer regains a valued worker. Win-win.
  • It's unwise to simply refuse. Under Georgia law, if your employer comes up with a light duty job, and your doctor approves it as being suitable to your restrictions, AND the insurer gives you 10 days written notice of the job offer, your failure to attempt the job will jeopardize your ability to collect further workers' compensation benefits.
  • TTD benefits may restart if you're not up to the task. If you try to return to work for at least 8 hours or one work shift (whichever is longer), but no more than 15 scheduled work days, and are unable to continue performing the job, you will be entitled to a resumption of your TTD benefits.

Consult an Experienced Workers' Compensation Attorney

Deciding whether to return to work after an on-the-job injury can be one of the most challenging aspects of the workers' compensation process—especially when restrictions and limitations are involved. If you have questions about your Georgia workers' compensation case, call Rechtman & Spevak today to schedule an appointment for a free initial consultation.