Who Determines When I Am Able to Return to Work after a Workplace Injury?

August 2, 2016

You were injured at work and you have been away healing and recovering from your injury. Eventually, you will have to go back to work, but you have many questions. What if the doctor clears you, yet you are still in a lot of pain, or you don’t feel up to working yet? What happens if, after my injury has healed, you are unable to resume the same kind of work you did before? Who has the final say when it comes time to return to work after an absence due to a workers’ compensation claim?

When your doctor determines that you have achieved maximum medical improvement (MMI), he or she will notify your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer that you are ready to return to work. You will receive a, “Notice of Ability to Return to Work,” notice in the mail from your employer’s workers’ compensation insurer. This letter must be sent within seven days of its going into effect. You then have 20 days to challenge this notice.

If you disagree with this notice because you do not feel ready to resume your work duties, you may be worried that you will lose your benefits and be forced to go back to work before you are ready. Your Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney can protect your rights and make sure that you are not forced to go back to work before you feel ready to do your job again.

If the effects your injuries now prevent you from doing the same work you did previously, and your doctor includes certain physical restrictions in your release, then your employer must comply with those restrictions. Your employer must offer you work tasks that are in compliance with the doctor’s restrictions. If that is not possible, your doctor can release you from work until your employer is able to offer you work that complies with your medical restrictions, such as not lifting objects of a certain weight, bending or reaching, driving, etc.

The Pennsylvania Workers’ Compensation Bureau judge, not your employer’s insurer has the final say as to when you must return to work and end your benefits.

If you have received a, Notice of Ability to Return to Work,” and you have not yet engaged the services of a Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyer, you may want to find one right away. An experienced workers’ compensation attorney ftom the law offices of Larry Pitt & Associates will represent you in your fight to preserve your workers’ compensation benefits when you can provide the medical evidence that shows that your injury has not improved enough.

If you have suffered from any kind of workplace injury or occupational disease, an experienced Philadelphia workers’ compensation attorney can help you make sure to get the compensation you deserve. When you have sustained an injury while doing your job, the trusted Philadelphia workers’ compensation lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates will be there to represent your interests. Contact us today or call 888.PTT.LAW for a free consultation. We serve clients throughout Berks, Bucks, Chester, Delaware, Montgomery and Philadelphia counties.