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When must injured Connecticut workers perform "light-duty" work?

When a Connecticut worker has been injured on the job, he or she may not be able to perform his or her regular work duties. An injured worker, whether he or she is suffering from a head injury, back injury or other workplace injury, may experience lingering health repercussions following a jobsite accident or illness. Some workers may be able to return to work following an injury, but not be capable of doing the exact job they were doing previously.

Under Connecticut's workers' compensation system, employees who have been injured or become ill and are capable of doing some work, but not their regular or most recent work, must seek what is known as "light-duty" work if they wish to still receive workers' compensation benefits. This requirement applies to individuals who are receiving workers' compensation benefits for a temporary partial disability. When a physician has cleared an injured worker for "light-duty" work, an individual must accept work that qualifies as such from their employer. This work shall be full-time and appropriate for a worker's current physical condition. It shall last as long as the employee is receiving rehabilitation or relevant medical treatment, and may be discontinued upon the recommendation of an individual's doctor or therapist.

Some employers do not have appropriate "light-duty" work. In the event a worker's employer does not offer "light-duty" work, in order to keep receiving workers' compensation benefits an employee must seek "light-duty" work in his or her geographic area. Additionally, the worker must report evidence of his or her relevant job search, including any employment contacts he or she has made.

A worker who is receiving temporary partial disability workers' compensation benefits and has questions regarding his or her "light-duty" work obligations may wish to speak with an attorney for guidance.

Source: State of Connecticut Workers' Compensation Commission, "Workers' Compensation Act Sec. 31-313," accessed Sep. 23, 2016

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