What is Workers’ Compensation Used For

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If you have been injured on the job, you may have a worker’s compensation claim and wonder when you should return to work. Worker’s compensation is in place to protect both the employer and the employees when injuries on the job occur.

It provides cash benefits to cover the injured employee’s medical needs and sometimes their lost wages. This can make a massive difference in the lives of the employees and their families, to not have to worry about lost wages while out of work or to have some or all of the medical costs from the injuries covered.

It is also beneficial to the employer, as the costs associated with the injuries don’t come directly out of their pocket. They are responsible for paying into the worker’s compensation coverage. Still, generally speaking, it costs them less to keep this coverage current than it would cover the costs associated with employee injuries.

Why Does Waiting to Return to Work Benefit My Employer and Me?

It is to the advantage of the employee and the employer for an employee to return to work as soon as they can after an injury. The employer will want their productivity from that employee, and the employee will want to get paid for their time to be back at work.

It is in the employer’s best interest to have a list of things (sometimes referred to as a return-to-work program that the injured worker can safely perform once they return to work if they cannot return to their position until further healing has taken place. This can provide both limited productivity for the employer and some income for the employee.

What can happen is that the employee comes back to work, chooses to engage in the same level of work they did before they were injured, and risks re-injury. It can be imperative to consult the employer and determine if an effective return-to-work program is in place so the risks of re-injury are limited. The employer can create a plan that meets the restrictions set by the employee’s doctor at this time as well.

What Does an Effecitve Return-to-work Program Consist of?

A plan to support, supervise, and intervene should the injured worker struggle with the daily tasks is great to have in place for any employer. They gain some limited productivity back and can ensure that the employee has a low risk of re-injury if they have adequate support.

This can include changing some challenging labor duties to partly office work. It gives the employee the chance to learn other aspects of the business in a lower-risk environment, protecting both the employee and the employer.

When is it Safe to Return to Work?

Typically worker’s compensation injuries require the employee to receive medical attention and follow-up appointments to determine how they are progressing with their healing. A physician generally will set restrictions on when they can return to work, and once the employee can meet this standard, they can return to work following the restrictions placed on them by their physician. This timeline will vary for everyone based on their specific injuries and their doctor’s limitations.

Further questions about your specific case? Call our office at (608) 356-5700 to speak to one of our attorneys today.

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