Returning To Work On Modified Or Limited Duty Assignment
If you are a federal employee who was injured at work, you are entitled to federal workers’ compensation benefits. As part of that claims process, you must be evaluated by a doctor selected by the Department of Labor (DOL). Depending on your injury, the doctor may make a determination that you are able to return to work on a modified or limited duty assignment.
Your Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) claims examiner and your employer are required to get you back to work as soon as possible. This may result in pressure to go back to work before you feel you are ready.
Before you accept a position you do not feel ready for, contact the attorneys at The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C. Our attorneys are experienced federal workers’ compensation advocates. We will advise you of your rights and options regarding a modified duty assignment.
At The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C., we practice exclusively in federal labor and employment law. We serve the nation through our offices in Dallas, Atlanta and Washington, D.C. To schedule an appointment with one of our attorneys, call us toll free at 888-351-0424
What To Expect: The Modified Duty Job Offer Process
When you are injured on the job, the sooner you get a lawyer on your side the better. As soon as your doctor reports that you are no longer disabled and you are capable of returning to light or limited duty work, you are required to accept any reasonable offer.
Your employer will contact your claims examiner about a proposed position, which your claims examiner will evaluate. If your claims examiner determines that the job is suitable for you, he/she will verify that the position is still open before contacting you about the job.
Once you have been offered a job offer, you have 30 days to review the job offer with your doctor and respond. That is not much time if you want to challenge the job that you are offered.
Your Options: What You Can Do And How We Can Help
You do have the options to decline a job offer, provided certain conditions are met. You should not decline a job offer without speaking with a lawyer first. If you have turned down an offer and there is no sufficient medical support for declining it, you could lose your job and OWCP benefits.
Our skilled lawyers can re-evaluate the claims examiner’s determination to identify any errors. We can also articulate legal reasons why you shouldn’t return to work with your own doctor. If we can find a legitimate reason why you are unable to return to work, supported by your doctor’s opinion regarding your physical or mental limitations, you can decline your job offer.
This puts the ball back in the claims examiner’s court. The claims examiner must obtain a second opinion to challenge your doctor’s position. This requires you to submit to an in-person exam with another doctor selected by the DOL. If the claims examiner doesn’t pursue a second opinion, we may file an appeal, contesting the original determination of suitability.
Vocational Rehabilitation Prior To A Job Offer
The OWCP may at its discretion, direct you to attend vocational rehabilitation once your doctor has cleared you to perform limited tasks. Like the job offer, you have 30 days to respond and provide medical evidence supporting why you are not capable of participating.
To Challenge A Limited Duty Assignment, Call The Devadoss Law Firm
If you are worried about being asked to return to work before you are fully healed, call The Devadoss Law Firm, P.L.L.C., to set up an appointment with one of our attorneys. You do not need to worry about money. Your initial consultation is free. Contact us toll free at 888-351-0424 or you can send us an email by completing our online contact form.