What to Expect When You Return to Work After Receiving Workers’ Comp Benefits
Returning to your job after a workplace injury can be exciting and uncertain, especially if you’ve been receiving workers’ compensation. You may wonder what duties you can perform and whether they will impact your benefits.
Knowing what to expect when you return to work can make the transition easier and ensure your job duties align with your current skill level and abilities.
Returning to work after receiving workers’ compensation benefits involves multiple steps. The following actions can ensure a smooth transition and help you meet all legal and medical guidelines. Here are the steps to consider:
- Medical clearance. Before returning to work, you must receive medical clearance from your treating physician. This step ensures you are fit to resume your job responsibilities without risking further injury or harm. Your provider should provide a Return to Work form to confirm your readiness.
- Notify your employer. Once medically cleared, inform your employer of your intention to return to work. Providing advance notice allows your employer to prepare for your return, reassign tasks, or make necessary workplace accommodations.
- Understand any work restrictions. When your doctor clears you to work, it can mean returning with specific limitations or modifications. You should communicate these restrictions to your employer so they can make appropriate accommodations.
- Participate in a return-to-work program. Some employers in Wisconsin offer return-to-work or light-duty programs. These programs are designed to reintroduce injured workers back into the workforce gradually. Engaging in one of these programs can help ease the transition and ensure you are not taking on tasks that might worsen your injury.
When you restart your job after an injury, you might be given certain work restrictions to safeguard your health. Your doctor will outline your capacities, abilities, and any temporary or permanent limitations. For example, you might be restricted to lifting no more than ten pounds for two hours a day for a week.
As your recovery progresses, these restrictions can be reviewed and adjusted. These guidelines clarify what you can and cannot do at work and in your daily activities outside of work.
If your physician believes you cannot return to your previous job, they might recommend a different position. For instance, you may need to switch to a desk job instead of a manual labor role.
It’s important to discuss this with your employer so they can help you adjust and find a suitable place in your work environment.
Once you are cleared to return to work, your workers’ compensation benefits typically end even if you don’t immediately start working. While your worker’s compensation benefits will end, you may be eligible for disability benefits, depending on your injuries. Disability benefits are available for workers who suffer injuries that cause partial or full, temporary or permanent inability to perform certain actions.
The state offers varying levels of benefits and timeframes for various injuries. For instance, if you’re back on the job with a permanent partial disability from an injury to your little finger, you can receive 28 weeks of compensation.
Understanding your benefits and navigating these issues requires legal guidance. An Appleton workers’ compensation lawyer can clarify the impact of returning to work on your workers’ compensation benefits.
We can help guide you on a proper return-to-work scenario based on your circumstances. We can also ensure your employer follows all requirements to accommodate your work duties based on medical recommendations.
If there’s any disagreement about your medical evaluation, an attorney can challenge the findings, seeking an Independent Medical Examination to ensure fairness. This can help prevent a return to work if you do not feel able or are not fully healed. If your injuries result in a permanent or temporary disability, we can help you file for disability coverage.
Returning to work after receiving workers’ compensation benefits can leave you with questions about work restrictions or how your benefits will be affected. At Brian Hodgkiss Injury Lawyers, we can provide clear answers and support during this transition.
Contact us for a free consultation if you’re unsure about medical evaluations or potential long-term benefits. Our legal team will keep you informed and protected every step of the way during your return-to-work transition.