If you were injured at work, you might have needed to take a few weeks to a few months off of work. However, no matter how long your recovery takes, no one can tell you that you must return to work. The decision to go back to your employer should be left up to you after carefully discussing your condition with your doctor.
However, there is one exception to that rule; the Department of Industrial Accidents can order an impartial physician to determine whether or not you are capable of returning to work. A report but an impartial doctor is crucial to your claim because he or she has the authority to determine the extent of your injury and your right to continued compensation.
Once you do return, you have a trial period of 28 calendar days to ensure you are fully capable of performing all your job duties. If you find you are unable to do so, you must give your employer and the insurer notice within 21 days afterward. If you appropriately report your inability to work, your benefits will begin again without your needing to file a new claim. If the insurance company refuses to reinstate your compensation, they will face severe penalties under Massachusetts law.
However, if you return to work but are unable to earn as much money as you did prior to the injury based on lingering pain or disability, you are eligible for partial incapacity compensation. Likewise, if you are able to return to work but are left with a permanent loss of function or a scar as a result of your injury, you are also eligible for specific compensation benefits. These benefits cover total and partial loss of bodily functions or senses as well as scarring to visible areas of the body.
If you are used to working in heavy employment but are cleared for light duty, it’s important to meet with a counselor from the Department of Industrial Accidents’ Office of Education and Vocational Rehabilitation. These counselors can help you decide whether you might be in need of vocational rehabilitation assistance. These counselors are extremely busy, so your decision should be made first after consulting with a skilled workers’ compensation lawyer.
If you need help filing for workers’ compensation, or you need assistance continuing to receive benefits after returning to light duty, let our Taunton workers’ compensation attorneys help. Percy Law Group, PC is proud to offer superior legal advice and personal service to workers who have been injured at work. Let us see how we can help.
Contact us at (508) 206-9900 or fill out our online form to schedule a free case consultation with us today.