The decision to return to your job after recovering from a workplace injury is an important step. You must be in good health (according to your doctor), understand how your benefits may change, and be prepared to face some unexpected difficulties. However, you don’t have to make the decision alone. An attorney can help you handle the decision and explain how it impacts your workers’ comp benefits.
Returning to Work Poses Challenges
While it’s possible an injured worker makes it through the worst of an injury and his doctor clears him to begin his job again, he may not yet have fully recovered or reached “maximum medical improvement.” For this reason, it’s not uncommon for recovered workers or those still recovering to experience mild to significant obstacles, including:
- Transportation. Especially if an injury involved broken bones, spinal damage, brain injury, or another debilitating injury, a recovering worker may not be able to drive himself to and from work.
- Mental health. Many people find satisfaction and reward in work. However, an injury can cause a person to perform in a substandard way, and it’s possible his mental and emotional health begins to decline as he struggles to cope with limitations.
- Physical limits. It’s important a recovering employee is cautious after returning to work. This can be frustrating for many whose jobs require physical activity, and it’s possible a worker simultaneously attends physical therapy sessions while transitioning back into work.
- Cognitive health. A traumatic brain injury, for example, is one type of injury that may require the recovering employee to work through complicated neurological problems or processes more slowly or with more difficulty as the brain rebuilds and heals itself.
A worker’s transition back into work will be made easier if he makes sure not to return too soon, receives helpful feedback from coworkers and superiors, and continues to prioritize his health in everyday life.
Returning to Work Could Affect Benefits
If you’ve been injured on the job and you’ve discussed returning to work with your doctor, it’s important to fully understand both the medical and legal consequences. The team of attorneys at Kirshenbaum & Kirshenbaum can help you understand your current benefits or file a new injury claim. To begin a conversation with our firm about your case, fill out our online contact form today.