Being injured on the job can turn your life upside down. The work that may have once provided you with the ability to pay your day-to-day expenses can disappear, at least temporarily. This can leave you in a financial bind, but you probably qualify to recover workers’ compensation benefits. Although recovering these benefits can be a challenge in itself, maintaining them for the period of time you need to recover and return to work can be just as difficult.
The reasoning behind this is simple: there are a lot of people who have an interest in you returning to work. Those who represent your employer want you to get back to work so that they don’t have to keep paying out your claim, and your claim administrator and physician have a duty to protect a system of which they have become a part. For this reason, these individuals have a say in when you can and should return to work.
The problem is that not all of these parties see the situation from the same point of view. Your treating doctor, for example, may not fully understand the duties you perform at work. In this case, his or her recommendation may be misleading. Therefore, you need to make sure that you are keeping in contact with these individuals to ensure everyone is on the same page. You may want to clarify the kind of work you performed before you were injured on the job, your current medical condition, and the work that your employer has stated it can make available to you.
If your workers’ compensation benefits are drawn into question by parties who want to force you back to work, then you need to be prepared to push back. You’ll need strong arguments, backed by the law and the evidence at hand, showing why you deserve continued benefits. If you want help with crafting these arguments, or better understanding the process at hand, then you might consider speaking with a legal professional.
Source: California Department of Industrial Relations, “Answers to frequently asked questions about workers’ compensation for employees,” accessed on May 15, 2017