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Can You Continue Working While on Workers’ Compensation?

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Posted By 1p21.admin | May 9 2024 | Workers' Comp

Experiencing a work-related injury can be a confusing experience, especially when it comes to understanding your rights under Minnesota workers’ compensation laws. One common question that many injured employees face is whether they can continue working while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. The answer to this question depends on several factors, including the severity of your injury and the type of benefits you are receiving.

Temporary Partial versus Temporary Total Disability in Minnesota

In Minnesota, there are two main types of wage loss benefits available to injured workers: temporary partial disability (TPD) and temporary total disability (TTD). TPD benefits are paid when you can return to work but in a reduced capacity. If your employer can accommodate your work restrictions, you may be placed on light-duty assignments as you continue to recover from your injuries.

On the other hand, TTD benefits are provided when your injury prevents you from working altogether. If your employer cannot feasibly provide you with a light-duty job that meets your restrictions, you are entitled to full wage loss benefits. Your employer cannot force you to perform work that exceeds your restrictions or terminate your employment for refusing to do so.

You Are Allowed to Work While Receiving Certain Workers’ Comp Benefits

In certain situations, you may be allowed to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. For example, if your treating physician has approved you for light-duty work and your employer can provide a suitable position, you may be required to return to work. In this case, you would continue to receive TPD benefits to cover two-thirds of the difference between your pre- and post-injury wages.

Additionally, if you are participating in a vocational rehabilitation program or attending an approved retraining course, you may be permitted to work while receiving workers’ compensation benefits. However, any income earned from this work must be reported to the workers’ compensation insurer, and your benefits will be adjusted accordingly.

Under TTD, you are deemed unable to work at all due to your injuries. During this period, you are not allowed to return to work until you have recovered from your period of disability. Engaging in any work that generates income can jeopardize these benefits, so it is important to speak with a lawyer about your options.

What Happens If Your Employer Forces You to Return to Work?

Employers are often motivated to return their injured employees to their regular jobs as quickly as possible. But in Minnesota, your employer is prohibited from forcing you to perform work that exceeds your restrictions or retaliating against you if you refuse to comply.

If your employer disputes your work restrictions, you can provide additional medical documentation to support your limitations and attempt to resolve the issue directly through communication. If these efforts are unsuccessful, a workers’ compensation attorney can advocate on your behalf, ensuring that you are not pressured into putting your health and well-being at risk.

Speak to a Minnesota Workers’ Compensation Attorney Today

If you have questions about your ability to work while receiving benefits or are facing pressure from your employer to return to work before you are ready, speak to a Minneapolis workers’ compensation attorney as soon as possible. A lawyer can help you understand your rights, protect your right to benefits, and provide guidance on your next steps.

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