Injured workers often find themselves faced with the difficult decision of returning to work within a different position than which they were working prior to their injury. If you are currently on temporary total disability compensation and have work restrictions that may enable you to return to work in a different capacity than the position you were working when injured, you should contact your employer about returning.
If the employer provides a light duty job offer you should make every attempt to return to the workforce. Failure to return may be deemed a voluntary abandonment of the workforce, which may cut off your eligibility for certain monetary benefits.
However, remember that you are under no obligation to accept a light duty job position that fails to meet the work restrictions outlined by your treating physician. In addition, your light duty job position description must be detailed to be considered a valid light duty job offer.
As noted by Coxson, for a job offer to be sufficient to terminate TTD compensation, it must be clear that the job is indeed within claimant’s restrictions. The only way to assess this is to know the position being offered and the general nature of the duties required of the position. State ex rel. Coxson v. Dairy Mart Stores of Ohio, Inc., 90 Ohio St.3d 428, 200-Ohio-188 (a written job offer of suitable employment must clearly identify the physical demands of the job and an offer lacking such cannot be rehabilitated by an employer’s verbal assurances that the claimant’s limitations will be honored).
If the employer fails to provide a valid job offer, you may continue to be eligible for temporary total disability benefits.
If you are concerned about returning to work, The Bainbridge Firm may be able to help you navigate this transition back into the work force. If you are concerned that your employer has failed to honor your work restrictions, you may need to contact an attorney.