Most workers who suffer injuries that restrict them from carrying out their normal duties at work will no doubt want to recover and return to work as soon as possible. In this respect, one of the intended goals of the Georgia Workers Compensation Act is to allow injured or partially disabled workers to return into gainful employment.
However, sometimes, insurance companies can try to get your physician to release you to go back to work where your employer can offer you suitable light duties too early. For employees that have been offered light duties under a 240 job offer, it is important to understand what this means for you and how it can affect your right to receive Georgia workers’ compensation benefits.
What to Expect From a 240 Job Offer
In most cases, receiving a 240 job offer can be the difference between being paid or not, and can have an impact on whether you’re eligible to continue receiving benefits. Your employer has to follow the directives set out in Board Rule 240. These rules call for the employer to use Georgia State Board of Workers’ Compensation forms, including form WC-240A, which is the job description sent to your doctor for approval, and form WC-240, which is the actual notice offering the physician-approved light duty.
Light duty offers should clearly detail the responsibilities expected of you, and your employer has to ensure that any work is within your capacity as certified by a physician. For workers who receive such an offer, refusal of the offer can allow your employer to suspend income benefits, so your minimum responsibility is to try the offered position for at least fifteen days, after which your benefits will continue until a hearing is held.
Is It Worth Trying The Light Duty Job?
Insurance companies can be able to stop your workers’ compensation weekly benefit check if you do not try the job offered to you. Because trying a light duty job can mean the difference between getting a check or not, it is in your best interest to try the job and see if you are able do it.
This is advisable because if you’re able to do the job, you may be paid a full wage instead of the reduced weekly workers’ compensation. If you’re unable to carry out your duties, you’ll be eligible to receive benefits while waiting for a court hearing, if the insurer is contesting your rights to receiving them.
What Steps Should You Take To Protect Yourself?
Georgia workers’ compensation law, 240 job offers in particular, is a highly technical and tricky area. Therefore, it is advisable to consult an attorney who specializes in workers compensation if your employer would like you to return to work on light duty. There are several steps that have to be taken, as well as forms that you and your doctor should receive, and at times employers or insurance companies may not follow the procedures correctly. Your counsel will be able to assist you in checking for any shortcomings and help you stay on the right side of the law.
If you’re facing an early return to work due to a light duty job offer but are unsure if you can actually do the job, you should seek help from experienced attorney John Snyder. He will ensure your employer follows the correct procedure, offers you a suitable job, and guarantees no loss of earnings while you recover or work to find a suitable role.