When you are injured at work and seeking workers’ compensation, sometimes it can feel like a losing battle. There are so many rules and laws that it’s hard to keep them straight. It’s hard enough to deal with the many doctor appointments and the pain of the injury. And, what if your employer wants you back but you’re not ready?
If you’re receiving temporary total disability (TTD) payments, there is an expectation that they are temporary. At some point, the plan is that you will be back to work in some capacity. You can receive TTD benefits indefinitely although the employer and its insurance company may issue an Impairment Rating Evaluation (IRE) to reassess your injury after 104 weeks. They can also request an Independent Medical Examination (IME).
Your Employer Wants You Back
If the IME doctor believes you can go back to work, your employer may offer you a job within the restrictions set forth by that doctor. If your own doctor thinks you should not return to work, you have the right to refuse to go back. Before making this decision you should seek the advice of a certified workers’ compensation lawyer. If you don’t return to work your employer may file a “Petition to Terminate, Modify, or Suspend Benefits.” A judge will need to review the case before this happens. At this point, it’s important to seek legal counsel.
Your Doctor Clears You to Return to Work
Sometimes you don’t feel well enough to return, but all the doctors believe you can work, even if it is at a modified level. You don’t have a lot of options. If you refuse to go back, it’s likely you will lose your workers’ compensation benefits.
Your employer and its workers’ compensation insurance carrier will make every effort to deny your claim or limit your payout for temporary total or permanent partial disability benefits. You’ll likely need effective legal representation to help you get what you deserve. Call us for a free consultation and definitely contact me if an IME is requested or if you have questions about returning to work. .