Updated on June 24th, 2019
The goal of any Work Cover is to return the injured employee to work as fast as possible and if possible return them to their pre-injury health. The majority of injured employees also want to return to work to make up for the predominance of the medical cases with minimal time off work. The uncooperative or injured employee is often seen as someone who can be forced to return to work.
According to studies, the longer the workers stay away from the jobs, the harder it becomes for them to return to their previous duties. Although your doctor may say that you are stable, you may still feel that you cannot return to your previous job. Regardless of whether you are ready or not, once your doctor says you can work, you’ll have to report or risk losing your job.
When You Should Return To Work?
Every time you visit a doctor about any work-related injury, they will decide whether you can work with some restrictions, should be completely out of job, or be released to go back to your job without any restrictions. While some workers are kept out of jobs until they have completely healed, others can be released to go back before reaching the optimum medical improvement. Even if you are still under physical therapy or being treated for your injury, you could be allowed to go back on a modified schedule such as light work.
After a medical visit, you need to pay close attention to your doctor’s orders, especially if he is part of the company’s workers compensation scheme. Once you are released to go to work, the first thing is to inform your employer. Most importantly, you must ensure that you report on your release date. Also, make sure your worker’s compensation representative and employer have copies of all your work restrictions. Although it’s normal to want to push yourself, do not work for longer hours or perform duties that are not described in your work restrictions.
According to DePaolo & Zadeikis, with so many returning to work programs, workers risk losing their jobs if they do not return to work when advised. A worker may also be considered as the weak link in the company. He or she may be seen as exaggerating the injury to be given light duties.
Returning an employee to work soon may also place a lot of pressure on their supervisors who may be forced to create some work for the injured worker. This could be seen as a waste by the company.
Are There Any Benefits For Returning To Work?
Well, there are benefits if and only if you are completely healed. This is because getting back to work may help you to improve a lot faster. Returning to work will obviously increase your benefits and income. Since you may have friendships, those friends can significantly help you improve mental status. Further, if you were to be promoted being absent from work can really affect this process or
could even stop it altogether.
Although employers are obligated by law to keep your job for you, most of them will take you back as long as you are keenly in touch with them. Your employers cannot sack you just because you signed a worker’s compensation agreement. According to most acts, your employers should provide you with as much as 12 weeks of unpaid leave.
If you return to work, but sometimes miss work because of the injury, you may still receive the workers’ compensation benefits under intermittent lost time. If you are intermittently absent from work due to injuries, it’s very important to keep proper records of your pay tubs and lost time. More so, once your doctor clears you, you must return to work. If you are going back with some partial disability you may be required to take a different job or request for a reasonable accommodation.