Workers’ compensation ensures injured employees have access to medical care and income as they heal.
While employers may be eager for you to return, they cannot force you to come back before you are physically able.
Who decides when you are ready to return to work?
The physician treating your injuries determines when you are ready to return to work. With each visit, the doctor will make a note regarding your work capabilities and status.
Sometimes they allow you to return to work with full clearance to perform your duties, and sometimes they clear you for work with restrictions. Under workers’ compensation law, your employer must accommodate you, even if that requires temporarily moving you to a different department.
What types of benefits are available under the workers’ compensation system?
When you sustain an injury on the job, workers’ comp allows you access to the following under qualifying conditions:
- Necessary medical care for your injuries, including curative treatments and pain management
- Partial compensation for lost income through temporary disability
- Permanent disability payments if the injuries caused a decrease in earning capacity
- Vocational rehabilitation, which is assistance in finding a new job when the injuries result in an inability to perform the pre-injury duties
The rate of payment received for permanent disability can vary based on several factors, including the injured person’s age, previous earnings and occupation. Additionally, injured workers undergoing vocational rehabilitation will receive wage compensation akin to temporary disability.
Once the doctor clears you to return to work without restrictions, workers’ comp benefits will stop.