Insurance companies try to set you up to “refuse” certain workers’ compensation requirements in order to deny your benefits. One example is “refusal of employment.” If your employer has found you a job that your doctor says you can do, you must take it or benefits are cut off. Failure to cooperate with your vocational rehabilitation specialist, to include refusing to meet with that person or not following up with phone calls and failure to look for light duty employment are other examples of refusal. This is a very frustrating situation for many of my clients who want control or choice over job placements.
The law is that when you have been released to light duty work, you are supposed to make a good faith effort to find employment within your capabilities. However, it does not mean going back to your old job. If you’ve had the same job as a plumber for 25 years, it’s very difficult to comprehend that if your doctor says you can drive, you need to be looking for taxicab employment.
It can be stressful if you’ve always been a daycare provider or you’ve always done heavy labor and the insurance company wants you at a desk job, answering the phone. Unfortunately, it is very, very important to document your employment search because this is a very common trick that is used to try to cut individual workers’ benefits off.