Tucson, AZ asked in Workers' Compensation for Arizona

Q: If I am on workers comp, and my current employer cannot work with my work restrictions,what is the issue for new job?

New company, not current employer that I injured while working for them

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2 Lawyer Answers
Joel Friedman
Joel Friedman
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Good afternoon and thank you for your question. You are entitled to disability payments anytime you are off work, whether it is for the company where you were injured or another employer after that. You should notify the insurance company and you should be given a form to fill out whether you are on light duty or full work status. Your payments will be approximately every 30 days depending on the insurance carrier. Please feel free to contact me directly at 602-540-6366 or at joel@compinaz.com. Thank you

Weston Montrose
Weston Montrose
PREMIUM
Answered
  • Workers' Compensation Lawyer
  • Phoenix, AZ
  • Licensed in Arizona

A: Here are some instructions I supply to my clients who have been released to work with restrictions:

RETURN TO WORK WITH RESTRICTIONS (LIGHT DUTY)

You have been released to modified work. If you are unable to return to your job or are receiving a lesser income due to your injury, you may still be entitled to receive “temporary partial” benefits. In order to receive benefits, you need to understand the following:

• Temporary partial benefits are payable every 30 days.

• Complete a Monthly Status Report indicating any income and/or the efforts of your good faith search for work within your restrictions. Your temporary partial benefits are not determined until the insurance company is provided with the completed form.

• You are required to make yourself available for employment, making a sincere effort to find work within your physical limitations. This applies even if you have significant limitations (for example: “seated work only” or “no use of arm” or “no lifting over 5 lbs”).

• You should start by going to you date of injury employer to inform them that you have been released to work with restrictions (provide them with a copy of the medical note stating your current limitations).

• If your date of injury employer offers you light duty work (within the restrictions specified on the medical note) you should accept the offer (even if it is for a different position, for less hours, or at a reduced rate of pay). If your date of injury employer is unable or unwilling to offer you modified work within your restrictions you are then obligated to make a good faith attempt to find other work (even if this is a temporary position, a different occupation, part time, or at a lower rate of pay).

• You can satisfy your obligation to find other work using any reasonable method (for example: answering ads from Craigslist, filling out online applications, submitting an application or resume through an online job search site, filling out or submitting a written job application in person at a place of possible employment, or just asking any potential employer if they have suitable work available).

• List on the form the places where you have sought employment- at least three places for each monthly report.

• If you do have earnings (either with your date of injury employer or some other employer) report your gross earnings (wages before taxes or any other deductions) but do not include any vacation pay, sick pay, or other benefits you receive that were accrued prior to your injury. If you have no earnings you must write “0” or “none” as your earnings.

• If you receive unemployment checks, indicate the amount on the form as “gross earnings” in the designated space.

Once you have completed the form and it is signed/dated send it to your lawyer, NOT the insurance company. Your “temporary partial” benefits should then be calculated as follows: 66 2/3 of the difference between whatever you earned (or received from unemployment) and your Average Monthly Wage.

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