Can I Get Temporary Disability Benefits If My Doctor Has Limited Me to Restricted Duty?
If you have suffered a work-related injury that has left you unable to return to work for at least 7 days, you may be entitled to temporary disability benefits under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation statutes. But what if your doctor determines that you are only restricted to “light work” during the course of your medical treatment? Can you still receive temporary disability benefits?
The answer to this common question is that “it depends.” While your New Jersey workers’ comp attorney can give a more detailed answer, we have provided a brief overview below.
How Restricted Duty Affects Your Eligibility for Temporary Disability Benefits
The general rule regarding your eligibility for temporary disability benefits while only having a restricted ability to work after a workplace injury is that if your employer provides full-time restricted employment within your capacity, you will no longer be eligible for benefits. However, if your employer fails to provide suitable work, you will still be entitled to temporary disability benefits.
Our New Jersey workers’ comp attorneys are quick to note that New Jersey court rulings have held that if your employer does not provide restricted employment, you are not obligated to seek easier work in a different field while under active treatment to cure a work-related medical condition. The logic behind this ruling is that it is unreasonable to require a workers’ compensation claimant to train for or adapt to a new line of work while his or her ability to return to his usual line of work is not yet fixed.
Contact an Experienced New Jersey Workers’ Compensation Attorney
For more information about your eligibility to receive disability payments under New Jersey’s workers’ compensation while restricted to light work during medical treatment or if you have any other workers’ compensation concerns, call the Law Offices of Dan T. Matrafajlo at (908) 248-4404 to schedule a complimentary consultation with one of our experienced workers’ comp attorneys. We have offices in Elizabeth, North Brunswick and Newark, New Jersey to better serve you.