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What It Means When You Still Need Medical Care, But the Doctor Sends You Back to Work with Light Duty Restrictions

Believe it or not, at almost every workers' comp doctors' appointment, you get assessed for the work you can do. The doctor gives you work restrictions. Some employees are a little shocked and worried to discover work wants them back, even if they're still under a doctor's care, sometimes even if they just had an operation.  The work is often called "light duty" or "modified duty". In this brief video, South Carolina workers' compensation attorney Rob Usry gives you the basics on how it works- including how to handle returning to work, plus your protections and your rights. 

Hey folks here's a question that our comp clients often ask us, “if I'm still getting treated by the doctor but he releases me back to work with restrictions do I still have to go even if I'm worried I can't do the job?” Yes, you got to go back if your employer offers you work within those restrictions. If you don't you can lose your benefits. Here’s the basics of how that works.

Remember, the doctor’s restrictions protect you. You should get a printed note from the doctor list and those restrictions. Take a couple copies to work with you one for your supervisor and one for you. Don’t let your employer give you work or push you to exceed those restrictions. If you do it could make you worse, especially if you've had an operation.

This kind of work is called light duty or modified duty. It may be you just do the parts of your regular job that you're able to do. But, you might do a totally different job like sweep floors or answer phones. There should be a key advantage to light duty for you, you go back to getting your regular full paycheck.

So report to light duty with a can-do attitude and give it an honest sincere effort. But, be equally honest and sincere if you truly can't do the work. if that's the case, if you can't make it 15 days, you should qualify to automatically get your weekly check back from workers comp. Folks, if you've got any other questions about light duty or your workers comp case fill out a get help now form on our website or just call our office to get your questions answered. I thank you for thinking about this with me and I hope I see you soon.

Rob Usry
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Rob is a Spartanburg personal injury lawyer. Rob also practices as a criminal defense attorney.