If your doctor clears you to return to work, go ahead - just make sure you follow the right steps.
QUESTION: DOES GOING BACK TO WORK RUIN MY CASE?
ANSWER: Not at all!
This question comes up a lot in Workers’ Compensation cases. When someone is injured they have to balance their personal and professional obligations while including their injury as a new variable.
This is completely understandable. Oftentimes people want to try to get back to work but are not sure if their body will hold up. This uncertainty can cast a shadow over everything a person has to consider when they have a work injury.
First and foremost you should speak to your doctor and find out what you are physically capable of. While your injury may be improving, you may not be able to return at 100%.
If your doctor clears you to return to work Continue reading
Failure to keep a list of lost work days won't harm your claim.
QUESTION: WHEN I GOT INJURED I DIDN’T KEEP A LIST OF THE DAYS I LOST. DOES THAT MEAN I CAN’T PUT IN A CLAIM FOR WORKERS’ COMPENSATION?
ANSWER: THE EMPLOYER IS RESPONSIBLE FOR REPORTING TO THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BOARD ANY DAYS LOST TO INJURY.
Joe had been out with that broken leg from the scaffolding accident for more than a month but less than three. That much he knew. However, he had misplaced his date book, and just wasn’t quite sure when he had returned to work. It was all hazy which might have to do with the mild concussion he had gotten from his fall. Joe was worried that if he didn’t have the exact dates his claim, his Workers’ Comp application wouldn’t be accepted. He began to think it was pointless to Continue reading
You may be eligible for both workers' comp and unemployment.
QUESTION: I AM OUT OF WORK ON A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION INJURY. AM I ALLOWED TO FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS?
ANSWER: YOU MAY FILE FOR UNEMPLOYMENT BENEFITS, AS YOU ARE ELIGIBLE FOR BOTH BENEFITS.
Joe was recovering from that bad fall off the scaffolding. He was receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits. But facing months ahead out of work and on his back he didn’t know if he could survive on workers’ compensation benefits alone. He was curious if he could also file for Unemployment Benefits. He called Mike, his best friend on the job and asked what he should do. What did his friend Mike say? Continue reading
QUESTION: I FILED AN ACCIDENT REPORT AT WORK AND NOTIFIED MY SUPERVISOR. DO I HAVE TO DO ANYTHING ELSE?
ANSWER: YES! THE C-3 CLAIM STILL MUST BE FILED WITH THE WORKERS’ COMPENSATION BOARD BY THE INJURED WORKER.
Right before going on a cruise with his lovely wife for their 25th wedding anniversary, Joe got a pretty bad gash on his arm while fixing a pipe at work. The ER fixed him up quickly and when Joe got back to the office, he filed an accident report and then notified his supervisor, Mike in writing. Mike stuck his head out of the office and told Joe he would take care of the rest and to “get the hell out of here and enjoy that cruise!” Thinking he had covered all his bases to receive Workers’ Compensation, Joe gathered up his work gear and headed out to sail the next day to the Caribbean.
Stop, Joe! Stop!!
When a worker is injured HE or SHE must file a C-3 Claim with the Workers’ Compensation Board. It is the worker’s obligation to file this claim, NOT Continue reading
If you are receiving workers' compensation, you must be employed or looking for work.
While you are not required by law to look for work as a condition to receiving your benefits, the Workers’ Compensation Board has established its own standard that allows insurance companies to stop your payments if you cannot demonstrate that you are “attached to the labor market.”
What exactly does that mean?
Even if a doctor has declared you too disabled to work in your current job, you must look for work. You must show a good-faith effort to explore real job postings that are appropriate for your disability. To be acting in good faith, the work you look for must be within your personal restrictions as determined by your doctor. For example, if you are prohibited from lifting more than 20 pounds, then applying for jobs as a UPS delivery person may not satisfy the Board’s requirement.
Further, the Workers’ Compensation Board may require that you *prove* “attachment to the labor market” as a condition to you continuing to receive benefits. To do this, we recommend that you keep a good record of your efforts to find work, even if you are not able to find a new job. A simple way to record your efforts is in a diary, either paper or electronic.
When keeping a job search diary, you should do the following:
- Keep it in real-time. Don’t wait a month and try to re-create your efforts.
- Include who you have spoken to, what newspaper job listing sections you read, the internet job sites you search or other things you are doing to find a job.
- Keep entries for all jobs you apply for.
- If you get an interview, make a note of it. Write down who you interviewed with and your contact in the human resources department.
- Keep track of the jobs you are professionally qualified for but don’t apply for because of your disability.
QUESTION: MY EMPLOYER PAID MY SALARY WHILE I WAS INJURED AND OUT OF WORK. DO I STILL HAVE TO FILE A WORKERS’ COMPENSATION CLAIM?
ANSWER: THERE IS MORE TO A CLAIM THEN PAYMENT WHILE OUT OF WORK ?
Joe’s boss, Mike was a great guy. In fact, when Joe got badly hurt at work and was out for weeks, Mike paid Joe’s salary every week. When Joe got back to work, he hesitated filing a Workers’ Compensation Claim. After all, Mike had paid his salary the weeks he was out. And Joe didn’t want to appear ungrateful or greedy. What should he do?
File, Joe!! File!!!
If Mike drew Joe’s salary paid from Joe’s accrued sick or vacation time, Joe would not get that time back unless he filed a claim. That means the eight weeks of vacation and sick time Joe had coming to him had been put toward the time he spent recuperating at home. Unless Joe submitted a claim, he’d have to start from scratch to build up vacation and sick time.
“Aside from the monetary award, there is lifetime medical coverage for a Workers’ Compensation Claim.”
The payment of wages is only a small portion of a Workers’ Compensation Claim and NOT the only thing Joe is entitled to. In an earlier column, an injured worker can make a claim for a schedule loss of use if an extremity is injured even if salary was paid.
More importantly, Continue reading
Don't hesitate to report your accident, even if it's been days since it happened!
QUESTION: I DID NOT TELL MY BOSS WITHIN 24 HOURS ABOUT THE ACCIDENT I HAD AT WORK. DOES THIS MEAN I CANNOT COLLECT WORKERS COMP?
ANSWER: THERE IS NO 24-HOUR REPORTING REQUIREMENT UNDER THE COMPENSATION LAW
Joe was working on one of the old boilers at the old Jefferson High School when he tripped over a wrench. Banged up his knee pretty bad. After the ER visit, the X-rays, the knee brace, and the really good painkillers, Joe went back to work intending to let his boss know of his injury and to file Workers Comp paperwork. But one thing led to another and it wasn’t until three days later that Joe remembered he hadn’t told his boss or had filed any paperwork.
Joe panicked. Wasn’t there a rule that in order to file a Workers Comp claim, you had to have told your boss within 24 hours of the accident? That ER bill was steep and paying out of pocket would really blow his already-stretched paycheck. Joe was so pissed he would have kicked the wall if his knee didn’t hurt so much.
Don’t give up, Joe! File, Joe!! File!!
An injured worker does not have to notify his or her employer within 24 hours to collect benefits under the Workers Compensation Law. He or she may have to notify an employer within 24 hours to make sure they are entitled to certain benefits from the employer or their union. BUT the Compensation Law is different. It requires that notice of the injury be provided within 30 day of the accident. This notice can be provided orally or in writing.
Keep in mind it is ALWAYS better to Continue reading
Even if you didn't lose time from work, you can still file a claim.
QUESTION: WHEN I GOT HURT, I DID NOT LOSE ANY TIME FROM WORK. SHOULD I BOTHER TO FILE A WORKERS COMPENSATION CLAIM?
ANSWER: LOST TIME IS NOT A REQUIREMENT TO FILE A CLAIM
Joe was working a plumbing job at a construction site. He was tightening a connection to an S pipe when the wrench slipped and so did his wrist. Lucky for him, it was only a fracture. The ER was quiet and empty and two hours Joe was back on site, supervising Mike on pipe installation and making sure the job got done. Sure he would have to do some physical therapy on his wrist but that would happen on the weekends. He wouldn’t lose a day of work as he healed.
As he and Mike finished up their day’s work, Mike mentioned to Joe that he should file a Workers’ Comp claim. “But why?” asked Joe. “I was only gone for two hours and the physical therapy will happen on Saturday. Don’t you have to be out for like weeks to file a claim? Nah… I’m not going to file.”
File, Joe! File!!
You don’t have to miss a day of work in order to file a successful claim. Continue reading