Many people after a worker’s compensation injury return to work with either the employer they were working for when injured or with a new employer while under restrictions for the work injury. This often involves the offer by an employer of a modified duty position. Sometimes, the injured worker returns to work making as much as he/she did prior to the injury. Other workers make less and received partial disability benefits. Both sets of workers are entitled to a reinstatement of total disability benefits if they lose the modified duty job through no fault of their own. This would include layoffs due to the business closing as a result of COVID-19 restrictions or as a result of the current economic downturn.
The workers’ compensation attorneys at Abes Baumann believe there is no inherent difference in how injured workers are treated when there is a layoff due to either the economy or restrictions caused by the pandemic. The case law in Pennsylvania tells us that injured workers who are working modified duty are entitled to reinstatement of total disability benefits if the worker loses the job “through no fault of his own.” Clearly, job losses caused by restrictions imposed by the government to deal with the pandemic falls within this definition.
If you have lost a modified duty job, please contact Abes Baumann for a free evaluation of your case. As always, you will not be charged unless the firm is successful in obtaining you benefits.