When a doctor releases an injured worker in South Carolina to light duty, the employer is given the opportunity to accommodate the physical restrictions. However, if the employer cannot offer light duty work within the prescribed restrictions, the employee will continue receiving a weekly workers' compensation check.
For instance, if you underwent shoulder surgery and have been released to light duty with a restriction of no lifting greater than 5 pounds, your employer may either provide light duty work or allow you to continue receiving a weekly check.
In many cases, someone will return to light duty, yet not make as much money as they did before the injury. When this happens, you are entitled to 2/3s of the difference between your pre and post-accident wages. This situation may arise due to a reduction in your number of hours (e.g. no overtime) or a decrease in your hourly pay. Regardless of the circumstances, you should receive a weekly check for 2/3s of the difference in earnings.
Should your employer be able to accommodate the physical restrictions your doctor prescribed, you are required to return to work or risk forfeiting your workers' compensation benefits. Most injured people grow tired of being out of work and look forward to returning to their job.
In sum, if your doctor has placed you on light duty, and you have questions about your South Carolina workers' compensation benefits, I am here to help. Call me today at 803-790-2800.