If you have permission to go back to work, you may still be able to receive your workers’ compensation benefits. This decision is dependent on the unique details of your case. The details of your case may also allow you to pursue a final settlement. This is where a workers’ compensation law firm in California can help.
Once a doctor diagnoses that your condition has reached maximum medical improvement (MMI), it means that you have reached the point at which further improvement is not going to be possible. When you, as a workers’ comp recipient, reach MMI, your doctor will give you a disability rating. This rating (such as TTD/temporary total disability or TPD/temporary partial disability, etc.) will help determine if you can continue to receive your full or partial workers’ comp benefit.
If you reach your MMI but are still partially disabled, your doctor may clear you to work but give you certain restrictions. For example, youhttps://bayareaworkerscomp.com/construction-accident-workers-comp/ might get a list of activities you should not perform at your job.
Reaching your MMI may also allow you and your workers’ comp lawyer to ask for a lump sum settlement on your case. Never expect workers’ comp to offer you anything! You, with the invaluable help of your worker’s comp attorney, will usually make a demand for a worker’s comp settlement. This is usually done about six weeks after you undergo the Maximum Medical Improvement evaluation with the evaluating physician.
If you receive a TTD (temporary total disability) or TPD (Temporary Partial Disability) from the physical, then, under workers’ compensation, you may be offered a lower-level job that you can perform with your disability, which will allow you to continue working. If any new position pays less than your previous one, you should be able to receive weekly wages to account for the difference.
These types of ratings diagnosed by the attending doctor can affect your workers’ comp benefits in either a positive or negative manner. As complex as these cases are and including the fact that their outcome could affect the rest of your life, you need the professional advice and guidance of a Bay Area, California workers’ comp lawyer.
What Are Some Other Pertinent Facts That Affect My Workers’ Comp if I Return to Work?
Many factors may affect your workers’ comp benefits, if you return to work. Most employees will want to return to their previous employer if that employee/employer relationship is still a positive one.
Always keep in mind that your situation is unique and that there is no “right or wrong” decision in these matters. Due to the workers’ comp claim, you now may have a negative relationship with your previous employer and need to move on.
So, this decision—which should be made by you and with the help of your workers’ comp lawyer—is a very subjective one.
The following are some things that should generally be considered:
- The current relationship with your employer: If you go back to work, your relationship may have soured with your previous employer. This is a common occurrence, since your claim (especially if a costly one) might raise your employers’ insurance premiums. Also, many companies, unfortunately, have a negative view of employees’ who file a workers’ comp claim. This type of discrimination is illegal, since getting workers’ comp is your legal right, but in the real world, it exists.
- Availability of your previous job, or a modified version of it: Before making any decisions, you must determine if your job is still available. If your job is still available and you are physically able to do it, you may get it back. If you have a permanent disability from your injury, then possibly a modified version of your previous job is available, or there is another you can do. If neither of these options is available to you, then you must look elsewhere.
- Availability of other work: If going back to work is now an option, you should consider whether your previous employment is optimal and if not, then seek employment elsewhere. If this is the case, then you may still receive a lump sum settlement but continue to maintain income.
- Your desire to leave the workers’ comp system: By now you know that going through all aspects of the workers’ comp process is complex, stressful, and even legally challenging. Medical treatments may be delayed or even denied, and you may find the actual care to be subpar compared to private health plans. For the benefit of your care and your family’s future, you may not want to stay within the medical confines of the workers’ comp system. You and your Marin County workers’ comp attorney, who helps your injury recovery by maximizing your compensation, would strive to work towards a settlement in your case.
What Should I Keep in Mind When Returning to Work?
Returning to work when it is safe to do so can help in your recovery. Also, it will help any financial losses you may incur and possibly save a job you love.
Certain people must agree to your return though, such as:
- The physician you have been relying on
- The workmen’s comp claims administrator
- Your employer, managing supervisor, or company management
- Most importantly, with the advice and guidance of your attorney
Communicate fully with your Bay Area workers’ comp attorney, and make sure returning to work is in your best interests.
What if There is Disagreement about My Workers’ Comp Benefits?
Usually during this process, you or the claims administrator might disagree with what your treating physician reports about your injury or treatment. When there is a disagreement, you may have to see a qualified medical evaluator (QME). To qualify as a QME, a physician must meet additional educational and licensing requirements.
Your workers’ comp lawyer will competently handle the many legal hurdles to settle a disagreement. You have distinct legal rights to your workers’ comp benefits, and your Bay Area workmans’ comp lawyer will navigate this complex legal process and help you and your family secure your future.