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Seasoned Sacramento Injury Attorneys

Will I Lose Workers' Comp If I Refuse Light-Duty Work?


You’re unlikely to lose any workers' compensation benefits you already have, but you could lose the right to additional benefits related to this injury.

For example, if your work-related injury cased partial permanent disability, you could be denied supplemental job displacement benefits if your employer offers you alternative or “light-duty” work, whether you refuse it or not.

When Can My Employer Offer Modified Work?

Employers can offer injured employees modified work when your doctor writes a “permanent and stationary” report. This report states that your condition is either not improving or worsening, and that there are limits on the kind of work you can do (work restrictions) or if you are able to return to your old job at all.

If you are issued a permanent and stationary report, be sure to thoroughly read it and understand what it says. This report can not only affect the kind of work you can be assigned in the future, but it can also affect your eligibility for future benefits.

What If Light-Duty or Modified Work Is Too Difficult?

If you find yourself having difficulty with the light-duty or modified work you’re assigned, talk to your doctor about changing your work restrictions to match what you think you can do. Alternatively, your doctor could review the type of modified work your employer offered and determine it’s not suitable given your work restrictions.

If your doctor does either of these actions, your employer is required to offer you a new role with duties that align with your abilities. If your employer doesn’t offer you a new job or is unable to, you can become eligible for temporary disability benefits.

What If There’s a Dispute Concerning Light-Duty Work?

If you find yourself involved in a legal conflict involving workers’ compensation-related matters, you can turn to our dedicated legal team at Smolich and Smolich for assistance.

Our lawyers have helped clients overcome many difficult obstacles to getting the assistance and treatment they deserve from workers’ comp, their employers, and the medical establishment.

For more information about how Smolich and Smolich can help you, contact us online and request a consultation.