Soon after your injury, the treating doctor examines you and sends a report to the claims administrator about your medical condition. If the treating doctor says you are able to work, he or she should describe:
- Clear and specific limits, if any, on your job tasks while recovering. These are called work restrictions. They are intended to protect you from further injury (example: no work that requires repetitive bending or stooping)
- Changes needed, if any, in your schedule, assignments, equipment or other working conditions while recovering (example: provide headset to avoid awkward positions of the head and neck)
- If the treating doctor reports that you cannot work at all while recovering you cannot be required to work.
Injured workers who return to the job as soon as medically possible have the best outcomes. They recover from their injuries faster and suffer less wage loss. Your decision about returning to work will be influenced by your doctor, your employer and the claims administrator. Communicate honestly and frequently with them for the best results.
If your doctor decides you cannot return to work while recovering from your injuries you cannot be required to go back to your job.
Sometimes you can go back to your job with work restrictions if your employer is willing and able to make accommodations. For example, your employer may change certain parts of your job or provide you with new equipment.
If your doctor says you can go back to work with restrictions but your employer is unwilling or unable to accommodate your injuries, you are not required to return to work.
Meanwhile, depending on your injuries, you may be eligible for TD, supplemental job displacement benefits or PD benefits.
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