Documentation supports light duty offer – a win-win
Brigitte Le Vie, Claims Analyst
Offering light-duty to an injured worker is the best way to reduce long-term disability and claim costs. Recently, a member employer offered light-duty to an injured worker with a minor thumb injury with a letter in writing which the worker accepted. The worker continued in the light-duty position until his termination for cause unrelated to the injury. The injured worker sought treatment the day after termination, and the health provider backdated the work status, authorizing a no-release to work for 80 days in total.
The RS team worked quickly with the employer to gather the light-duty job offer letter under which the employee had been working until termination and documentation to support the termination for cause. Documents specifically included the Company Policy Handbook signed by the worker at the time of hire that specifies the reason for his termination.
L&I determined that since the worker was working the light-duty job before and after signing the offer letter, the worker understood and agreed with the offer, thus making the offer valid.
The worker will continue to receive treatment, but at this point, no further time loss is payable.
Thanks to the RS team’s quick action of supporting documentation, as this time loss claim could have adversely impacted the Retro Pool. The employer was also saved from being charged two months of time loss totaling $3,400 or more.