Yes. Assuming that your injury was accepted by the Employer/Carrier, lack of Modified duty characterizes you as Temporarily Total Disabled until duties are available or you are released. Hernias are typically complete recoveries.
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One further point.
If the workers' compensation insurer denies that the injury is work related or that you are disabled on account of it, have your doctor certify you for State Disability Insurance (SDI) benefits from the Employment Development Department (EDD). Be sure to tell EDD that your claim is for a work related injury but that the insurance carrier is denying you benefits.
They (EDD) will try to get its money back from the insurance carrier directly.
Also remember that you can only collect TTD or SDI, not both for the same period of time off work.
PUT IN WRITING AS SOON AS POSSIBLE to the Insurance Adjuster that the Employer refused to provide modified work.
An employer's refusal to provide modified work is equal to a doctor writing you are Totally Temporarily Disabled .
The injured worker has no duty to go out and find modified work... if the employer doesn't make the modified work available, the insurer must pay Temporary Total Disability payments.
PROBLEM: The adjuster has medical evidence in his/her hands showing you can work. So, the adjuster ASSUMES he/she can stop TTD payments, assuming you went to work on modified duty.
SO UNTIL YOU PUT IN WRITING TO THE ADJUSTER that this employer is refusing to let you work, you won't get the TD payments.
YOU'D BE smart to FAX a note to the adjuster...dig up the adjuster's fax online or phone the receptionist at the Comp Insurance Carrier for a way to fax the adjuster... THEN PLEASE SAVE A FAX TRANSMISSION REPORT in case you have to show a Workers Comp Judge later you made clear to the Insurer no work was available.
IF YOU FAX THE ADJUSTER and still don't get any more TD payments, you might have to apply for State Disability Insurance (SDI) from the state's Employment Development Department... i'll try to tack on the SDI Application form to the bottom in case you can't reach the adjuster with the news you were refused light duty.
And my office is nearby if you get really confused (albeit I typically don't take hernia cases...anticipting you'll completely heal up and return to full duty with no disability in a couple weeks).