While workers' compensation helps take care of different expenses, it doesn't make up for a full-time salary. Besides helping you earn more, returning to work may also help you feel better around supportive co-workers. If you're eager to go back to work after an injury, you must do so carefully.
What Should I do? You should first consult a doctor to give you the go-ahead. He'll examine you to determine if you've reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), meaning your injuries have healed as much as they can. If yes, he'll clear you for work, and if not, he may tell you to stay back.
Your doctor may also ask you to resume with specific work restrictions, even when you don't reach MMI. For instance, if your work entails heavy lifting, he'll give you limits that'll notify your employer to place you on lighter duties. Most times, you'll get a new job duty on lower pay.
What If I Feel Better but Didn't Get Clearance? If your doctor doesn't clear you, don't return to work on your directive. Even if you feel well enough, you should listen to your physician. Returning too early might affect your recovery process, and you could re-injure yourself.
What If I Don't Feel Better After Clearance? If your doctor clears you to return to work and you don't, you might lose your workers' compensation benefits. If you don't feel well enough after medical clearance, contact one of the top workers comp attorneys in Lancaster, PA, immediately.
What If My Employer Insists That I Return to Work? As part of the workers' compensation process, employers usually request an injured employee to go through an independent medical examination (IME). Sometimes, the IME's report might clear you to return to work, while your doctor's report doesn't.
Employers don't enjoy paying workers compensation benefits and may force you to resume based on the IME results. If you're in such a situation, contact one of the top workers compensation attorneys in Lancaster PA to handle your case.
Can My Employer Fire Me for Not Returning? Yes. Your employer can fire you when you don't return. However, you may still be able to receive workers' compensation benefits if you have an experienced attorney.