Workers Compensation: 4 Factors For Returning To Work

4 February 2016
 Categories: Law, Articles


For many people, getting injured on the job is a bad setback, but they would like to return as soon as possible. When getting paid workers compensation for your time off, returning back to your job could have some complications along the way. By working through issues with a workers compensation attorney, you can ensure that your transition to work goes smoothly. There are four different factors to consider when you're ready to head back to work. These obstacles could cause problems, so it's important to be aware of them during the process.

Work Hours

Temporary replacements or new hires may limit the amount of hours that you return to. These reduced work hours will not give you the full salary that you were earning before. Rehabilitation from your injury may also limit the set days that you are supposed to be working. If this is the case, then you can still receive workers compensation for the time that you're missing. These benefits should be continued to be paid until you have returned to the full schedule that you had before. Consulting with an attorney can help you figure out the best options for this scenario. Even if you started working again, your lawyer can help you get back pay for the hours that you have lost for the previous weeks or months.

Doctor's Exam

Many employers have their own doctor used to examine your injuries and determine your work eligibility. If a doctor has sent you back early, your injuries may worsen or change your ability to perform at your top level. If you feel like you've been sent back to work too early, then you and your lawyer may seek a second opinion from another doctor. If it is determined that you were not ready to return your work, your lawyer may seek additional compensation for further injuries, emotional trauma, and additional time off of work. Your focus should be feeling as healthy as possible before returning back to work.

Limited Role

If you're eager to return to work, then you may seek a limited role in your return. This role can include the same functions that you once had, but with some special circumstances. For example, you may need extra breaks for the first couple of weeks until you can build your strength back up again. As a part of this limited role, you may attend physical therapy and rehab during off-work hours. Your worker's compensation should cover these physical therapy sessions. When the injury is directly related to your job, workers compensation is supposed to cover all of these costs.

Before returning to work, you should undergo a residual functional capacity assessment. This assessment tests the different functions of your job and determines what type of, if any, limitations you will have. These assessments should be followed exactly as reported so your compensation payments are not affected. If your boss or co-workers are asking you to do more than the assessment says, then you should consult with your lawyer about possible options.

Work Treatment

It may feel different when returning to work after a long time. Even though it may uncomfortable at first, you should not be treated any different because of your injuries. If you feel like you're being treated unfairly or harassed, then you should talk to your lawyer. A lawyer can help represent your worker's rights and prevent any harassment for returning to the job. Harassment includes unfair treatment, taunting for your injuries, or being purposely ignored or left out of everyday job functions. All of these factors can impact the emotional trauma of your job. This may force you to leave the job and seek compensation for the emotional trauma.

Going back to work is a big transition. Don't be afraid to seek help and guidance from a professional like a lawyer.

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