When a worker is granted workers compensation, up to 70% of the compensation costs cover the lost wages and salaries of the injured worker. The remaining 30% of the costs are related to the worker’s benefits. However, should the worker heal from their injury but remain disabled they may engage in sheltered employment.

Sheltered employment refers to a setting within the workplace wherein a disabled worker is able to receive training and additional services related to their work. Before 2011, an injured worker’s use of sheltered employment was argued to be a violation of disability benefits. Therefore, workers working under sheltered employment were often denied partial or permanent disability benefits.

Modern sheltered employment and disability benefits

In 2011, the State of Arizona passed the Arizona Revised Statute section 23-1048. The statute states that, should an employer create reasonable accommodations for the injured worker, those wages paid to the injured worker will be held against them should they file for partial disability benefits.

Although the worker may be disabled, they are unable to receive disability benefits under the Arizona workers compensation system if they are showing their ability to earn a living wage. However, in order for the injured worker’s wages to be counted against them when filing for disability benefits under Arizona workers comp law, the employer must provide the injured worker with¬†reasonable¬†accommodation.

What is determined as reasonable accommodation?

Whether or not the accommodation is considered reasonable may be argued by the injured worker and their workers compensation attorneys. Prior to the statute’s revision, the injured worker may have been working the same number of hours and performing the same duties as before they became disabled at the date of their injury.

Now, a workers compensation lawyer may argue that the employer’s accommodations should allow the employee to work in a modified environment as to benefit the employee in such a way that is consistent with their physical limitations.

If you were harmed in an incident while working on the job and believe your employer’s accommodations for your disability are unreasonable, you may have a case. For more information regarding sheltered employment and disability benefits related to workers comp law, contact the law offices of AZ Hurt On The Job.