I’ve Been Returned to Light Duty Work. When Do I Get Temporary Partial Disability?
Maryland workers’ compensation law recognizes that the disability resulting from a work accident is not always, and in fact, is frequently not totally disabling. One post-injury scenario involves a doctor determining the person cannot work in any capacity. The law refers to that status as being temporarily totally disabled, and the corresponding benefit class as “temporary total disability” As Attorney Eric T. Kirk will tell you.
A frequently encountered scenario, though, is one in which the worker is not totally disabled, and can return to work, but with restrictions on their ability to:
- stand for extended periods
- be on their feet
Just because the worker is in fact at work, does not mean that the injured worker does not lose money. The scenario here is that a worker can return to his or her employment, but with restrictions on their abilities. This is frequently referred to as a “light duty” release. Doing a “desk job” for someone who typically does not. If the employer is willing to accommodate the restrictions, and offers the same hours and pay, there is no issue.
That frequently does not happen.
An employee may lose overtime, or be put in lower paying position. They might be let go altogether, and have to seek other work. If the doctor of an injured worker has placed restrictions on that person’s ability to work, that injured worker is considered temporarily partially disabled. If this person working but is missing shifts, or is otherwise not making their pre-injury wages, they are entitled to collect ½ of the difference between the average pre and actual post accident earnings. This benefit is called temporary partial disability.