Workers Compensation Attorneys
Going Back To Work
Q. I want to return to my job, what do I do?
A. Going back to work is a decision you need to discuss with your doctor and your workers compensation attorney.
Your doctor will advice you if going back to work will interfere with your recovery. Your doctor may agree with you going back to work with some restrictions and these must be discussed with your employer.
If your employer is unable to make any accommodations then you are not required to go back to work, depending on the type of injuries you have, you may qualify for TD, supplemental job displacement benefits or in some cases PD benefits.
Q. How does my doctor make the decision about me going back to work?
A. Going back to work many times helps you recover faster, depending in your injuries. Feeling productive and keeping busy helps people emotionally and mentally. It's important to discuss your options with your workers compensation attorney.
You and your workers compensation attorney should communicate with your doctor, your employer and the claims administrator about:
The type of work and activities you performed before you got injured
Your limitation and the type of work you can perform during your recovery.
The accommodations and types of work your employer is willing to offer you.
Q. Can I work while I am recovering?
A. If your doctor determines you are able to go back to work, he or she should explain:
Your limitations and restrictions.
Any changes in schedule, travel distance and other changes required to help you in your recovery.
It's important to have a good and open communication with your workers compensation attorney and treating doctor to make the best decision.
Q. I already have restrictions on the type of work I can do.
A. If your employer is willing and able to offer you a position that will accommodate with your restrictions as ordered by your doctor, you can safely go back to work. However, if your employer cannot offer your a position that complies with your medical restrictions, you don't have to go back to work.
Q. What happens if I have don't have any work restrictions?
A. If your doctor believes your can safely go back to work without any restrictions then your employer should offer you the same position you had when you got injured.
Q. What if my employer offers me work?
A. If your employer offers you a job, the offer should include the following:
Regular work offer: Your old position for at least 12 months at the same pay rate you had when you got injured.
Modified work offer: Your employer can offer you a similar job from the one you had at the time of your injury. This new position should pay you at least 85% of your previous pay rate and benefits and must comply with any restrictions ordered by your doctor.
Alternative work offer: A new position which complies with the restrictions order by your treating doctor at at least 85% of your original pay rate and benefits for a period of 12 months.
If you are presented with a job offer, you have 30 days to accept the new offer. Your workers compensation attorney will make sure you meet all deadlines to avoid any loss of supplemental job displacement benefits.
Q. What if I don't get a job offer from my employer?
A. If you got injured between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2012, and your employer has 50 or more employees, and you are not presented with a new job offer, regular, modified or alternative work, your weekly PD benefits will be immediately increased by 15 percent.
If you got injured between Jan. 1, 2004 and Dec. 31, 2012, and your employer has fewer than 50 workers, and your employer does not offer you a new job regular, modified or alternative, your PD benefits will not change.
If you got injured on or after Jan. 1, 2013, your permanent disability benefits will not change if you are not presented with a new offer to return to work, regular, modified or alternative work, regardless of how many employees your employer has.
Q. Why are my permanent disability benefits change by the return to work offer?
A. The state of California has determined that the longer you stay out of work, the less likely is that you go back to work. These rules we set in place to allow you to go back to work as soon as your doctor determines your are OK.
Again, not all cases are the same and you must speak to your California workers compensation attorney and discuss your options.
Q. What if the new position doesn't work out?
A. This depends for the most part in the date of your injury, you need to discuss your options with your California workers compensation attorney.
Q. How do I qualify for SJDB?
A. You must have been injured on or after Jan. 1, 2004, and are permanently unable to perform your regular work duties, and your employer hasn't offered you another position, you may qualify for SJDB.
This is voucher that you can use to learn a new skills at a state approved school.
For injuries that took place between Jan. 1, 2004 and Jan. 1, 2013, employees who don't go back to work, 20 days after your employer made you a job offer, you'll get a voucher. The amount is determined by your disability score:
Up to $4,000 voucher for a disability score of less than 15 percent
Up to $6,000 voucher for a disability score between 15 and 25 percent
Up to $8,000 voucher for a disability score between 26 and 49 percent
Up to $10,000 voucher for a disability score between 50 and 99 percent
Up to 10% of the voucher may be used for counseling.
Employers are not liable for providing the SJDB to an employee if, within 30 days of the end of disability benefits, a job offer is made, and the employee refuses to go back to work.
If you got injured after Jan. 1, 2013, the voucher amount is $6,000.00 regardless of your disability score. The voucher applied within 20 calendar days from the expiration of time for making a job offer. The job must at least 85% of the from your original pay rate and benefits and must last at least 12 months.
Q. What if don't accept a job offer, can I still et the voucher?
A. No, you're not eligible for the voucher.
Q. How can I benefit the most out of my workers compensation benefits?
The are a lot of rules, deadlines, conditions to keep track of. Hiring a California workers compensation attorney is the best option to make sure your rights are protected and that you receive all the benefits you are entitled to.
Make sure your California workers compensation attorney is pre-screened and has a record of successful settlements in the workers compensation system.