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Definition of Work Restrictions

Workers' compensation work restrictions are descriptions that are made by a doctor of the work that a worker can and cannot do while they are recovering from their work-related injury or illness. Work restrictions may be either temporary or permanent. If a work restriction is temporary, it means that is will only last for a specific period of time. If a work restriction is permanent, it means it will last for the rest of the worker's working life.

For example, a worker whose job involves lifting heavy objects, injures their back while carrying out their work duties. A workers' compensation claim is filed and approved, and the worker starts receiving workers' compensation benefits and medical treatment for their injured back. Before the worker totally recovers from their back injury, their doctor clears them to return to work, but with work restrictions. One of the primary work restrictions being that the worker is not allowed to lift more than 10 pounds. Obviously, the worker will not be able to do their regular job that involves lifting heavy objects. Whether the worker can return to work will depend on whether their employer has light duty or modified work that the worker can do with their work restrictions. Whether the worker can return to their regular job will depend on whether their work restrictions resulting from their back injury will be temporary or permanent. Will the worker totally recover from their back injury, or will there be some kind of permanent impairment that results from the back injury?

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