Q: Does workers comp insurance need to pay TD benefits if they terminate the employee while they are on modified duty?
I have an accepted workers comp claim in California. I've been on modified duty since the injury last October. I was fired in December. I've been looking for work in the same industry but I am being told I don't qualify for the jobs because I'm on modified duty. I've been told by the work comp insurance I don't qualify for temporary disability because of the modified duty. It's currently a catch-22 situation. I'm looking for Labor Code or Case Law on Modified Duty and payments of Temporary Disability Benefits if it exists.
A: There are two types of temporary disability 1)TTD - Total Temporary Disability and 2) TPD Temporary Partial Disability. If you were working modified duty you are likely TPD which means you get temporary disability unless the employer can accommodate your restrictions. If you were fired for cause then the employer would no longer be liable for TPD payments. If you were let go because of cut backs or some other reason not in your control, the employer would likely still be liable for TPD. If the doctor says you cannot work, you would be TTD and entitled to temporary disability payments even though you have been fired.
Also YOU DO NOT NEED TO DISCLOSE YOUR RESTRICTIONS TO A NEW EMPLOYER during an interview. The employer should tell you what the job requirements are for the job and you can decide if the job is within your restrictions. You will never be hired if you tell a prospective employer you have a disability. You may need to disclose your restrictions once you have been provisionally hired.
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