Burdine & Brown
If I Am Fired for Failing to Return to A Light Duty Job Offered by My Employer After My Job Injury, Can I Still Receive Workers’ Compensation Weekly Benefits?
If I am fired for failing to return to a light duty job offered by my employer after my job injury, can I still receive workers' compensation weekly benefits? Yes, you can but you will be fighting for 6 months to get these benefits.
The key concept is whether you have made a diligent job search. If you can prove you have done so, to the satisfaction of an Administrative Law Judge at the State Board of Workers' compensation, the Judge can order your benefits re-started with back pay and possibly a 15% added to the lump sum.
But the concept of making a diligent job search depends on the whims of each individual judge. Is searching on line, 2 or 3 times a week, sufficient? Do you need to show that you qualify physically and mentally for the work similar to what you were doing when you were injured, this is unacceptable. Light duty may require you to find work different from what you were previously doing. Insurance companies and their lawyers know this. They will attempt to exploit your lack of experience in looking for work in a different and difficult and ever-changing job market. Check out my website at www.burdineandbrown.com. Under FAQ-Diligent job searches.