Can I Work Overtime When on Light Duty With Workers' Comp in Illinois?

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If you suffer an injury while working, you may apply for workers' compensation. While collecting workers' compensation, you may continue to work on light duty or an altered schedule. Depending on the circumstances, if you are working a light-duty job, you may be able to work overtime while on workers' compensation in Illinois.

Workers' Compensation

  • Workers' compensation provides medical care and financial assistance to covered employees who sustain injuries at work. Specific policies differ by state, but the amount of coverage you receive typically depends on the type of injury and whether you are able to return to work. In Illinois, you will receive 66 percent of your weekly wage if you can't work at all. If you return to work on light duty and receive a lower wage, or if you don't work as many hours, you may be eligible for partial workers' compensation benefits.

Light Duty

  • If you are receiving workers' compensation, you may return to work with a doctor's recommendation for light duty, which means that your employer must adjust your responsibilities so that the job doesn't aggravate or worsen your physical condition. Doctors may also prescribe an altered work schedule in which your employer can't ask you to work more than a maximum number of hours per day or week.

Light Duty and Overtime

  • If a doctor releases you with stipulations of light duty and an altered work schedule, you usually can't work overtime. However, a doctor may prescribe light duty without an altered schedule. In this case, Illinois workers' compensation regulations permit you to work overtime as long as you remain on light duty. If you work overtime on light duty, your employer must still compensate you in accordance with overtime laws.

Considerations

  • When you work overtime on light duty, your employer must pay you at least 1 1/2 times your usual hourly wage. However, if you are receiving a lower wage while on light duty, your overtime pay will be lower as well, and you may still be eligible for partial workers' compensation payments in Illinois.

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