Did you experience a workplace injury, and now you’re wondering how to go about recovering and preparing to return to work when the time is right?
Well first things first: don’t rush through your recovery time. If you return to work too quickly, you can make your injuries worse and end up losing out on workers’ comp payments for not abiding by their guidelines. Adhere to your doctor’s orders for taking care of yourself, physically and mentally.
As your time off from work draws to an end, here are some things you can do to prepare to go back to work, even if it’s only part-time.
Be Aware of Your Return Date
After experiencing a workplace injury, you’ll have some time off to recover physically and emotionally. While you’re off work, you’ll be given some instructions from your doctor of activities you should avoid and appointments to keep.
Follow all your doctor’s orders at this time and keep an eye out for your “return to work” date. If you’re given the go-ahead to return to work, notify your employer right away. You have to be ready to return to work on your release date.
Don’t Push Yourself Too Far After a Workplace Injury
Even after you’ve been given the green light to go back to work, your workers’ comp representative, employer, and workers comp doctor will have copies of any work restrictions that you’re to abide by. You might want to keep a copy of these restrictions with you at work as well.
It’s not uncommon for employees to want to jump back in and push themselves when they return to work. However, to avoid further injury, it’s important that you stick to the restrictions you’re given. Don’t work longer hours than you’ve been given permission to perform. Also, don’t perform physical activities that are beyond your ability.
If you have to take on a position that pays less than what you were making before, you might be able to collect reimbursement checks to make up the difference.
Establish a Plan With Your Employer
If you’ve been partially disabled from a workplace injury, you need to establish a plan with your employer as you slowly return to work. A good plan will include a signed, legally binding agreement between yourself and your employer that states that they understand the extent of your injuries and limitations.
The plan should outline the accommodations that will be in place to allow you to transition back to work safely. The plan should also include an agreement to keep communication open between your employer, treating physician, and yourself, to make the transition as smooth as possible.
Your workers’ comp representative and your doctor can work with your employer to find a position that suits your restricted abilities, either permanently or until you’re able to take on more.
Make sure that you let your workers’ comp representative know as soon as you’re cleared to return to work so they can make amendments to workers’ comp payments coming in. If you don’t, you may end up having to repay the insurance company for money you received when you were able to work.
Find Other Financial Advice
Now that you’ve got an idea of how to go about returning to work after a workplace injury without jeopardizing your workers’ compensation, check out our other useful blogs.
We have content about managing your money, finding work, saving, and investing. And if you find that you need to look for another job, we have advice for finding a new position or starting your own business.