If you had to take time off to recover from a work-related injury, you might wonder when you can go back to your job.
The decision is not up to you. Your doctor decides when you can return.
How does my doctor know I can return to work?
When determining your ability to work, the physician monitoring your case considers your injury, recovery progress and position responsibilities. You must provide your doctor with detailed information about your job duties, so they know whether you can return to full or restricted duty.
What happens if my injury limits my work?
When you want to get back to work but still have lasting effects from the injury, your doctor may temporarily require limited duty. Some recommendations may be:
- Working fewer hours
- Limiting lifting weight
- Working at a desk instead of a standing position
If your employer can not accommodate these restrictions or your income decreases during this time, you may be eligible for full or partial disability payments. When your injury requires permanent modifications, workers’ compensation may negotiate any loss of pay in their settlement offer.
Will I lose my job if I do not return after my doctor clears me?
Once your doctor believes you have reached maximum medical improvement, they may recommend returning to full duty. You must return to work when your doctor completes your treatment. If you decide not to go back, you could be at risk of losing your job.
Working together with your doctor and employer to create an acceptable return to work plan can make moving on from your injury easier.