When you are receiving workersâ€™ compensation benefits, you may hear often that it is always best to return to work as soon as you are ready. While you too are eager to return to work and your normal lifestyle, you do not want to rush it. One question injured employees often have is what happens if they return to work part-time. Since they are not working as they did before, they often wonder if that means they will eliminate their chance to further collect compensation.
Returning to work part-time does not necessarily mean you will be without compensation, but it will also depend on the type of work you are doing, your income and a few other factors.
The Effect of Returning to Work
When an injured employee returns to work, the wages that they earn upon their return will determine if they continue to receive workersâ€™ compensation benefits. If you are receiving wages that are greater than or equal to what you were earning prior to the injury while on part-time work arrangements, then your wage benefits will discontinue via workersâ€™ compensation. If, however, you are still earning less than what you earned prior to the injury, you would receive the difference from workersâ€™ compensation benefits. Â Â Â
Typically in these cases, your employer and the workersâ€™ compensation insurer will be notified ahead of time that you are returning to work. Your physician will work with your employer closely to arrange the part time hours as well as discuss any limitations. You may not be able to return to the same type of work or you may have to take another position at the company that accommodates your new range of motion and other issues. If this is the case and your income decreases significantly, workersâ€™ compensation will help compensate for the difference in pay as long as it is not more than what you earned prior to the injury.
When You Realize You Are Unable to Continue Working
If you return to work, even part-time, you may realize that you are unable to complete the work. In this case, notify your employer and your physician immediately for re-assessment. Your physician may decide that you need further treatment or may decide that your disability is more severe. In this case, they will report this to your caseworker and your benefits will be adjusted.
Speak with a Workersâ€™ Compensation Attorney
If you are concerned about returning to work, contact a workersâ€™ compensation attorney at Horn Law. We can discuss your options as well as your existing wage benefits to help you better understand your compensation after you return to work. Schedule your consultation by calling 816-795-7500 or fill out our online contact form with your workerâ€™s compensation questions.