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Philadelphia Workers Comp Law Firm Pearson Koutcher Explains Returning to Work at a Loss of Earnings After a Work Accident

  • Jon Koutcher
  • 06/25/2013

After a work injury, some injured workers are released back to full, unrestricted duty by their treating physician or other healthcare provider. Sometimes, however, an injured worker is returned to work with restrictions. If you are returned to work with restrictions and experience a wage loss when compared to the wages you earned at the time of your accident, you may be eligible for partial disability benefits. The Philadelphia workers comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law have a combined three decades of experience pursuing claims for partial disability benefits on behalf of injured workers. Below are two typical scenarios when a loss of earnings will occur following return to work after a work accident:

Loss of overtime: The Philadelphia workers’ comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law represent many clients who return to work after a work injury at a loss of earnings due to a loss of overtime hours. Typically, the employer will have a policy that the injured worker cannot perform overtime if they are restricted to a forty (40) hour work week or if they are restricted to performing any employment less than full, unrestricted duty, such as sedentary or light duty. In our experience and opinion, an employer will impose a restriction on performing overtime work while an injured worker is on modified duty to force the injured worker back to full, unrestricted duty as quickly as possible. The current law for a loss of overtime wages is fairly straight forward: an injured worker who returns to work following a work accident has a claim for partial disability benefits if they cannot perform overtime work due to restrictions caused by the work injury (whether restrictions on the number of hours in a week or the physical capabilities of the injured worker) if a similarly situated employee is performing overtime work while the restrictions on the injured worker are applicable.

Reduced hours or a lower hourly rate: Often an employer will request that an injured worker return to work following a work accident to a modified position performing job duties on a part time basis or at a reduced hourly rate when compared to the injured worker’s time of injury work capacity and earnings. If this occurs, a claim again can be made for partial disability benefits. An injured worker would be eligible to receive partial disability benefits calculated by two thirds of the difference in the loss of earnings upon a return to work.

If you are returned to work by a physician or other healthcare provider after a work accident and your wages are reduced, you are restricted in performing work less than 40 hours per week, or you do not have access to overtime hours, contact the Philadelphia workers comp lawyers at Pearson Koutcher Law without delay. We can quickly diagnose your situation and pursue the benefits to which you may be eligible based upon our knowledge of the Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Actand our more than three decades of combined experience representing injured workers throughout the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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