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Columbia Personal Injury Attorney > Blog > General > Understanding Workers’ Compensation Return-to-Work Restrictions

Understanding Workers’ Compensation Return-to-Work Restrictions


Being injured on the job can be terrifying, especially if your injuries prevent you from being able to return to work for a period of time. However, if you are able to go back to work after being injured on the job, it’s important that you understand workers’ compensation return-to-work restrictions. At the Marc Brown Law Firm, our South Carolina workers’ compensation attorney is here to guide you through return-to-work restrictions in our state. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help.

What Does it Mean When You Are Released Back to Work?

If you suffer an injury on the job that is disabling, you will likely receive partial wage replacement benefits while you recuperate at home. Once you have recovered to a certain extent, though, the workers’ compensation doctor may release you to go back to work. If you are not fully recovered, then the doctor will release you to perform “light duty” work. This means that you will perform different work than you did prior to the injury and/or your employer will be required to make reasonable accommodations for you based on your physical injury. This is known as returning to work with restrictions.

Do I Have to Accept Work with Restrictions?

If you are asked to return to work on light duty or work with restrictions, then you must accept it. In fact, if you are ordered by your doctor to perform light duty work and you do not accept it, then any compensation that has been being allocated to you in the form of wage replacement benefits may cease entirely.

Note that if you do choose to return to work and you are making less money than you were prior to the accident because you are doing light duty work, you can continue to receive compensation at a rate of 66 ⅔ the difference between the weekly wage you were making before the accident and the weekly wage you are making after returning to light duty.

I Disagree with My Doctor’s Decision to Release Me to Return to Work with Restrictions – What Can I Do?

It is not uncommon for a doctor to make the determination that a patient is ready to return to work and perform light duty work before the patient feels like they are really able to do so. If you are released to work with restrictions before you believe you are ready, it is important that you take action immediately. The first thing that you should do is talk to your insurance carrier and see whether or not there is another doctor who they will allow you to see. If this doesn’t work, you can request a hearing by filing a Form 50. You can also request an independent medical exam (IME). In all cases, it is strongly recommended that you consult with an experienced attorney who can review your case and assist you.

Does My Employer Have to Accommodate Me?

Another question we often hear is in regard to an employer’s duty to accommodate an employee who needs light duty work due to an injury stemming from a workplace accident. While an employer should make reasonable accommodations—and while you will have to accept light duty work if it is offered—if the employer cannot find a job for you or cannot reasonably accommodate you, then your employer will need to continue paying you temporary disability benefits until you recover.

Work With an Experienced Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

Understanding workers’ compensation return-to-work restrictions after an accident can be confusing, especially if you don’t feel ready to return to work. At the Marc Brown Law Firm, our experienced workers’ compensation lawyer is here to help. To learn more about workers’ compensation and how our law firm can assist you during this time, call us directly or send us a message at your convenience. We work entirely on a contingent-fee basis (we only get paid when we recover compensation for you) and we always offer free, no-obligation consultations.

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Marc Brown

Marc Brown Law Firm

Meet Attorney Marc Brown

Marc Brown is an experienced personal injury and civil rights attorney serving clients throughout South Carolina and Georgia. Marc is motivated by the challenge of helping his clients solve their complex legal issues, and most importantly, he obtains favorable results. He is a caring and conscientious attorney who brings the experience and resources of a larger firm to his smaller, more personalized practices in Sumter and Columbia, SC.

A Personable & Dedicated South Carolina Attorney

As someone who has always had a keen sense of right and wrong and a desire to achieve excellence and fairness in all things, pursuing law was a natural career choice. After graduating with honors from the prestigious Emory University School of Law, Marc went on to become a dedicated litigator who focuses on personal injury, workers’ compensation, and criminal defense cases.

Why Choose Us?

Choosing an attorney is a very important decision, but it can be difficult. When you choose the Marc Brown Law Firm, we do everything we can to keep you informed, put your needs first, and to make sure justice is served. Here are just a few reasons to choose us:

The Right Experience

Attorney Marc Brown has experience that matters. Prior to opening this law firm, Marc spent nearly a half a decade defending big insurance companies and large corporations in personal injury and commercial litigation matters across the United States. Marc knows exactly how insurance companies and corporations evaluate claims and what they look at when deciding to increase the amount they are willing to pay. He thinks outside the box to find additional or hidden opportunities for favorable results.

We’ll Come To You

After being injured in a serious accident, you need to focus on getting better. Serious accidents can be hard on an individual, physically and emotionally. The Marc Brown Law Firm is dedicated to fight for you while you recover. If you are unable to travel to our office for any reason, we will personally visit you! Just give us a call to talk whenever you may be in need of assistance. We’re here to help.

Clients First

At the Marc Brown Law Firm, we choose to put our clients first. Our clients are more than just a case number. We think of each of our clients as extended members of the family. We make sure to inform our clients of all their legal options and provide timely updates throughout the life their case.

24/7 Availability

We are available around the clock for our clients. If at any point we are unavailable, we promise to promptly respond to all messages within hours.


We work hard so that our clients receive the justice they deserve! When necessary, Attorney Marc Brown retains investigators, engineers, and other experts to help prove your case. Insurance companies are big, but Marc is experienced and resourceful. We fight for each of our clients so that you can receive the maximum compensation available to you.

No Fees Unless We Win

We work on a contingency fee basis, which means there are no upfront cost to clients. You only pay lawyer fees when we win your case. This also means that your attorney is only paid a percentage of what is recovered for you. The Marc Brown Law Firm has a vested interest in ensuring that each of our clients receive the maximum recovery available to them. We are determined to fight tirelessly to recover for you.

Marc Brown and The National Trial Lawyers Top 40 Under 40 award