What if you have been released to go back to work, but your doctor has restricted the kind or type of work that you’re able to do? When your doctor has ordered that you can do certain things at work but not others, then sometimes it results in less work hours. For instance, what if your normal job is stacking boxes at the office supply store, but you hurt your back?
When the doctor allows you to return to work, he puts some restrictions on your work so that you can heal. He tells you that:
- You are not to twist or bend from the waist.
- You are not to lift anything over 20 pounds.
- You must take at least a 10 minute break every hour.
Your supervisor looks at the restrictions and says that the only job that meets this criterion is to be the greeter for customers. But that job only has 20 hours available each week and your other job allowed you to work 40 hours before you got injured.
Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) payments should be available for you under these circumstances and the workers compensation insurance company must pay the difference between your new pay total and the amount of money that you would have been allowed to make before your injury. Although workers compensation benefits generally pay only 2/3 of your lost wages according to certain guidelines, these benefits are not taxable.
Responsibility for Injuries
Remember that your company (or more specifically the workers compensation insurance company that insures your company) is 100% responsible for injuries that occur to you if they arise out of and in the course of your employment. In contrast to other types of injury law, it usually doesn't matter if you’re at fault.
For example, if your boss sends you out on an errand to pick up a package for work and then you go through a red light and an accident occurs, this is clearly your fault. But for the purposes of workers compensation law, it is still a covered injury because it never would have happened if your employer had not instructed you to drive somewhere. As a result, your employer’s insurance is fully responsible for your rehabilitation so that you can regain your health and income level.