When Do I Have to Return to Work After a Workers’ Compensation Claim?
Originally posted on http://lawrjf.com/return-work-workers-compensation-claim/
For those who have been seriously injured on the job, it can be difficult to know when is the right moment to return to work. There is no book you can read or document you can look at that will give you a definitive answer. This is because no two injuries are exactly alike and because every person heals differently. As such, the assessment about when an injured person should return to work must always be made on an individualized basis. Ultimately, this choice should be made between an injured person and their doctors. Insurance companies and employers have no say in the matter. No one should be forced to return to work until their body is physically ready to do so.
WAIT UNTIL YOU ARE PHYSICALLY CAPABLE
Employers and insurance companies have a financial incentive to get you back on the job sooner. When you start making money again, they can stop paying your workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, injured workers report that they are pressured into returning to the job before they think they are physically capable. This type of pressure is unacceptable. You should return to the job when a medical professional clears you do to so, and not a moment before. The simple fact is, you have a legal right to rest and make a full recovery. If a dispute arises between your doctors and the insurance company over your capability to return to the job, the Department of Industrial Accidents (DIA) may order you to receive a comprehensive medical evaluation from an independent doctor who can make a final assessment.
RETURNING TO WORK WITH A TRIAL PERIOD
Another issue that must be considered is the fact that it is not always possible for an injured person to actually know when they are ready to go back to work. In some cases, injured workers may simply need to give it a try to find out. The state of Massachusetts allows injured employees to return to work on a trial basis. More specifically, workers’ compensation recipients generally have a 28 day period to ensure that they are capable of performing their work-related duties once they get back on the job. If a person finds out that they just can not keep up at work during this trial period, then they should immediately report the issue to the insurance company and can seek to get their benefits reinstated. During this trial period, injured workers may be able to get their benefits reinstated without being forced to file a whole new workers’ compensation claim. It should be noted that since there are tight timelines involved here, those who find themselves in this position should work with a Boston workers’ compensation attorney.
CONTACT OUR TEAM TODAY
If you were recently hurt on the job, our team can help. When it comes to Massachusetts workers’ compensation claims, we have a proven track record of success. For an immediate, and free, review of your work injury claim, please call Fitzpatrick & Associates today at (617) 825-0965.