After you get injured on the job, returning to work safely can help with the recovery process. It can also help you cushion yourself from the financial impact that comes with being away from work.
This article looks at the different ways you can return to work under restrictions after a workers’ compensation case. Read on to learn more.
Can You Go Back to Work and What Can You Do?
After sustaining injuries while at work, you work hand in hand with many professionals and experts to decide how you will return to work and some of the restrictions that your doctor and employer will put in place to enhance your safety. They include:
- A medical doctor
- Your employer
- A claims administrator
- Your workers’ compensation attorney
There are times when your claims administrator and doctor may not understand your job or some responsibilities you may have at work. Everyone involved should therefore stay in close contact throughout the entire process.
You and your attorney should maintain active communication with your doctor, employer, and claims administrator. Some of the critical things you need to communicate include:
- Your responsibilities at work before the injury
- Your medical condition after the damage and the duties you can handle in your current state
- The kind of responsibilities your employer can assign to you
What Happens During Recovery?
After the injury, your doctor conducts an examination and sends a medical report to a claims administrator to inform them of your medical condition. If the doctor concludes that you can work, they should indicate:
- Specific limits on your job during recovery. They are referred to as work restrictions, and they are based on full and correct information from both you and your employer regarding the responsibilities and demands of your position. They aim at protecting you from further injuries.
- Necessary changes in your assignments, equipment, schedule, or other working conditions until you recover fully.
If the doctor indicates that you cannot handle any responsibilities before recovery, you cannot return to work. Experienced Phoenix Workers’ Compensation Attorneys can advise you on the best course of action if you conflict with the information provided in the medical report.
If you can work with restrictions, any responsibilities assigned to you by your employer must meet the restrictions. If you can work without restrictions, your employer should give you the same responsibilities before the injury.
What if Your Employer Violates Your Return to Work Restrictions?
You should inform your employer of the doctor’s guidelines and restrictions. You do not have to complete a task if it goes against the restrictions.
If your employer threatens you for rejecting responsibilities that go against the restrictions, they will be going against the labor code that prohibits the discrimination of inured employees. If they cannot assign duties that comply with the return work restrictions, the claim administrator must pay temporary total disability benefits.
What happens if you do Not Recover Fully?
If your doctor indicates that you will never return to the same working conditions or job, they should write a report highlighting the permanent work restrictions to prevent further injuries.