It is not unusual for an injured worker to be put on work restrictions following his or her injury at work. This sometimes can drastically affect that worker’s ability to earn their regular wages and put food on the table, especially if restrictions limit the number of hours they can work while in recovery. The limitations are typically 20 or 40 hours per week maximum. But what is the injured worker to do if he or she is used to relying on the overtime earnings to pay the bills?
This issue usually arises when the overtime earnings are not very consistent or regular, as it gives workers’ compensation insurance an opportunity to either inadvertently or intentionally ignore those earnings when calculating the average weekly wage that is the basis for the injured employee’s wage loss benefits. Your average weekly wage and hence your wage loss calculations have to account for overtime you had before the injury if it was regular or frequent throughout the year (see Minnesota Statutes § 176.011, subd. 18). So when you are released to work full time, but the overtime is not allowed, you would normally be entitled to workers’ compensation wage loss benefits called Temporary Partial Disability.
If you are back to work, but your earnings are not as they used to be and workers’ compensation insurance is not paying the difference, you should contact attorney Yuri Jelokov for a free consultation to go over your case and decide on the best option for you.