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What Happens if I Can Still Work in a Different Capacity?

Posted on in Work Place Injuries

Many workers suffer injuries on the job, but the damage may only be severe enough to alter the workers' ability to perform his or her current job duties. For instance, if a person works on a machine when they suffer a back injury, a doctor may order the worker to stay off his or her feet. In this situation, the employer may look to another position for the employee.

When an employer changes a worker's position based on an injury, workers' compensation insurance refers to this as a modified duty. The worker can earn an income, but there is a possibility his or her pay will decrease based on the new position. It's essential to recognize how this alters workers' compensation benefits.

Receiving Benefits for Modified Duty

If your employer offers workers' compensation insurance, you may have the opportunity to pursue benefits for modified duty. For example, you may have to switch positions, and your employer may lower your pay to reflect the new job duties.

In situations of modified duty, you may be able to recover temporary income benefits. These benefits are equal to 70% of the difference you once received and the new wage under the modified duty. Here's how it works:

Before the injury, you made $15 an hour. After the injury, you have your job duties change, and your pay decreases to $10 an hour. The difference is $5 an hour. Temporary income benefits (TIBs) can compensate you for 70% ($3.50 an hour) of that difference, so your income is closer to what it originally was. Together, your salary and TIBs would make it so you receive $13.50 an hour under workers' compensation benefits.

Temporary income benefits end whenever:

  • You can physically work the in the capacity you did before the injury
  • Your injury has healed as much as it is going to
  • You reach the end of 104 weeks from your eighth day on disability

Recognizing your rights is crucial. Our Corpus Christi workers' compensation lawyers at The Edwards Law Firm can help you understand what steps you need to take moving forward. We'll guide you through the process with the focus on helping you secure workers' compensation benefits if available.

Whether through workers' compensation or a third-party lawsuit, we're here to help. Call us today at 361-698-7600.

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