Showing posts with label Light Duty Release. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Light Duty Release. Show all posts

Friday, February 27, 2015

I am on light duty, does my employer have to pay me to go to my medical appointments?
by Diana Robles, Associate Attorney

In most instances if you have returned to work on light duty, you will not receive payment from the employer for attending doctor or therapy appointments.  The carrier will review each case to determine if temporary benefits are due.  However, once a doctor has released you to return to work with restrictions, Arizona law only requires them to pay 66 2/3% of the difference between the wages you are now able to earn and your established average monthly wage.  This compensation is paid once a month. So if you have returned to working your regular hours and you are only missing a few hours a week for appointments, it is unlikely that you would get compensation for time missed for appointments.  You would only receive compensation if your earnings were reduced by more than 33 1/3 of your set wage.

If you or anybody you know has a work injury or disability, call Snow, Carpio & Weekley at 855-325-4781 for a free consultation. You can also visit our website at

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Why do I have to look for work while I am on Light Duty and still injured?

Why do I have to look for work while I am on Light Duty and still injured?
by Nick Wearne, Associate Attorney
Snow, Carpio & Weekley, P.L.L.C.

If you are injured at work and the insurance company accepts your claim you will begin to receive active medical care.  Active medical care is treatment designed to get you better.  Active treatment may include anything from major surgery to physical therapy.  Obviously your ability to work during your treatment will vary depending on your treatment and the requirements of your job.  After a major surgery you will probably be unable to work at all.  But several weeks later, while your receive physical therapy, you may be able to do some light duty work.

In Arizona, it is expected that you will work once the doctor has released you to light duty.  If you do not have a job, it is expected that you will look for one.  While very few companies if any will be willing to hire you for light duty work, it is expected that you will at least look for such work.  We advise all of our clients to reach out to their employer once they are released to light duty asking for work.  We advise clients to do this in writing and to keep a copy of the email or letter.  If the company refuses to give you light duty work we advise our clients to go out and apply for 2-3 jobs a week and to keep a log of such job applications.

Why do you have to do this?

The reasoning behind this expectation that you will at least look for work is that by working you will mitigate your damages.  To mitigate means to lessen or to make less severe.  When you are injured at work you are entitled to a percentage of your wages for time lost from work.  If you happen to find light duty work you mitigate or lessen what the company owes you in lost wages.

Does my work have to let me work while I am on Light Duty?

Unfortunately, the answer is no.  While you are legally obligated to make yourself available to do light duty work, the company is not legally obligated to let you work. Again, we recommend informing your employer that you are available for light duty work in writing and making a copy of the letter.

If you or somebody you know has been injured on the job or is disabled and unable to work, call Snow, Carpio & Weekley for a free consultation. We service the entire State of Arizona and can be reached at 855-325-4781. You may also visit our website at

Monday, April 29, 2013

Look for Work While on Light Duty

I can't stress enough the importance of injured workers in Arizona looking for alternate work when they are released for light duty by their doctor.  Case law in Arizona states that an injured worker has an affirmative duty to mitigate his or her damages by looking for alternate work that they could do while on light duty.  Once you show that you have looked for work, the burden shifts to the carrier/employer to show that jobs exist within your restrictions for which you would be considered.  Many of my clients think that because their restrictions preclude them from doing their regular job, they don't have to look for other work.  Not true.  The reality is that no one is going to hire someone with an open workers comp claim - everybody knows that.  But unless you make a good faith effort to look for light work, the carrier is not obligated to pay you temporary compensation. 

Chad T. Snow is an Arizona workers compensation lawyer with offices in Phoenix, Tucson, and Lake Havasu City.  He can be reached through his firm's website at Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.