Light Duty Job

Tell your employer you're interested in light-duty work.

Employer talking to employee

Many times, an employer can find a different job you can do with your medical restrictions, while you recover.

Tell your employer we will reimburse them 50% of your base wage, as well as expenses such as training and tools related to the light-duty job. See more on eligibility at www.StayAtWork.Lni.wa.gov.

Questions workers have

What are some examples of light-duty work?
  • Working shorter hours.
  • Performing transitional work. For example, performing some of your original duties, or different duties with lighter physical demands.
  • Performing a different job temporarily.
  • Working in a modified job. For example, making adjustments to the job or work site to meet your physical limitations, or providing tools, equipment or appliances that allow you to work while recovering.
Do I have to accept any job my employer offers me?

If your employer offers you a job that your doctor approves and you choose not to accept it, you won't be eligible to receive time-loss compensation. However, you aren't required to accept any job that would exceed the restrictions set by your doctor. Any disputes regarding job offers will be decided by your L&I Claim Manager or the Vocational Services Specialist in Self-Insurance.

What if I don't earn as much money doing a light-duty or reduced-hours job?

You may apply for Loss of Earning Power benefits through L&I, or your employer if it's self-insured (find out if your employer is self-insured). Loss of Earning Power benefits may help supplement your salary while you are working if you meet both of the following criteria:

  • Your claim is still open.
  • Your salary has dropped by more than 5%.
Why would my employer care if I returned quickly to work?
  • As an experienced employee, you are valuable to your employer.
  • They can be reimbursed for 50% of your base wage if they can find you a medically approved light-duty job. L&I will also pay for expenses such as training and tools relate to the light-duty job. For details, see www.Stayatwork.Lni.wa.gov.
  • Employers benefit when the cost of your claim is lower, because it means their workers' compensation rates won't increase as much.
Will I lose my medical benefits if I return to work?

No. You can continue to receive treatment for your industrial injury until your doctor certifies that your treatment is completed.

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