In Arizona, when you are on light duty and have an open workers’ compensation case, you are required to make a “good-faith effort” to look for work. For example, an injured worker in Phoenix must look for work within their work restrictions. This applies to open cases as well as injured workers who have a permanent unscheduled disability and are trying to prove what their permanent disability award should be.
One of the biggest mistakes that we see is when injured workers in Arizona fail to look for work within their restrictions and capabilities. This can lead to a forfeiture of temporary compensation benefits, and/or a reduction and permanent disability benefits. This may occur when appearing before an administrative law judge while attempting to establish his or her loss of earning capacity.
Once an injured worker is released to light duty, he or she should contact 5 to 10 potential employers per week. In a perfect scenario, the injured worker in Flagstaff, for example, will fill out job applications and keep copies of those applications. This can be used later as evidence in front of the administrative law judge. The injured worker must ensure that the job he or she is applying for is within their physical restrictions and within their mental abilities.
Another recommendation is for injured workers in Arizona who are computer illiterate to take a computer course through their local library. This will demonstrate to an administrative law judge that they were making a great effort at trying to find a job by honing their computer abilities.
Please feel free to contact Fendon Law Firm for any questions about workers’ compensation, Social Security disability, or employment law issues. We now have offices in Phoenix, Tucson, Flagstaff, and Prescott Valle