One of the hardest parts about recovering from an on-the-job injury is determining the right time to get back to work. On the one hand, you are eager to resume working; but on the other, returning prematurely could lead to aggravation or worsening of the injury. Workers’ compensation law encourages injured workers to return to work as soon as they’re physically able, but that moment is not always readily apparent. When contemplating your return, there are a few things the New York workers’ compensation attorneys at Kaplan Lawyers PC want you to remember:
- If you do return to work and your injury worsens, it’s always possible to go back on leave and begin collecting workers’ compensation benefits again.
- If you do attempt to go back to work and are forced once again to leave, it’s vital that you fill out all necessary paperwork and report any news regarding your injury to your supervisor. As with all incidents regarding on-site injuries, it pays to be thorough and dutiful with reporting changes in condition of the injury.
- Likewise, you or your attorney should report your return to the Workers’ Compensation Board and to whoever is paying your benefits.
- Just because you’re ready to return to some form of work, it doesn’t mean that you are physically ready to take on the workload that you had at the time of your injury. Consider talking to your employer about concerns that you have regarding your injury, and don’t be afraid to start small. You might prefer to take on lighter duties initially, or to work part-time until you are sure that you are ready to fully return to work.
- If you return, but to lighter duty than you’d been working previously, you may be eligible to collect a portion of the difference between earnings.
- Ongoing medical treatment may still be available and covered, even if you return to work.
- Employers are not required to keep your position open for you after you suffer a workplace injury. However, most employers will be responsive to an employee who wants to find a way to get back to work. Stay in contact with your employer about your position, but don’t force yourself to return to work if you are not able.
- For those who are able to return to work but find that their employer has filled their position, collecting Unemployment Insurance might be an option.
- If you feel that you were fired because you filed for workers’ compensation, you might be able to file a discrimination claim.
- If you decide to return to the workforce but your previous position is no longer available, remember that future employers cannot ask you about workers’ compensation claims. This should not be a factor up for consideration by your potential employer.
- There are also psychological aspects of returning to work after a workplace injury. Depending on the nature of your injury on the job, you might also be coping with certain anxieties regarding your return to work. If you have any phobias or anxieties about the injury you suffered, or about the job you perform, you should consult with medical professionals to address these issues. A worker who is plagued with anxiety, especially in jobs that are hazardous, can risk further injury to themselves or to coworkers should they return to work prematurely.
Contact Us with Any Questions, Comments or Concerns
There is a significant gray area involved when returning to work, but our qualified team of New York workers’ compensation lawyers can help guide you through the deliberation process. We want you to receive your full potential compensation coverage, without sacrificing any benefits by returning to work too soon.
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan
Attorney Jared S. Kaplan has focused his career on advancing his legal knowledge though the day to day practice of law. Jared is a partner in the law firm of Kaplan Lawyers PC in Syosset, New York and has been a practicing attorney for nearly 20 years. His career started in litigation, so Jared is aware of the pitfalls in litigation and uses that knowledge in the representation of his clients in complex matters. [ Attorney Bio ]