When you get hurt at work, the injury might mean you can’t keep doing the same job. Even if you will eventually recover, you may not be able to stand or use one of your arms for a while, depending on the injury.
It is common for workers to need short-term disability benefits after they get hurt on the job. These will cover a portion of your wages until you can get back to work. How do you know when it’s time to return?
Your doctor clears you for all work for certain duties
The doctor overseeing your treatment for your work-acquired injury will understand its impact on your job performance and also how work could affect your recovery. In some cases, they might recommend you going back to work sooner than you fully heal with certain restrictions.
Other times, they may expect that you take time off until you completely recover. The nature of the job you do and the injury will influence what approach the doctor takes. Trying to go back before your doctor approves that decision could be a mistake that has financial consequences or that makes your injury worse.
Your employer finds a way to accommodate you during your convalescence
There are many ways for companies to work around an employee’s injury. They could transfer you to another department where you don’t have to do physical work. They might be able to give you tasks that you could do from home, like answering general questions that come in through the company’s email.
They might even be able to provide assistive technology or changes to your job responsibilities that help you keep doing the same tasks you did before. If your employer can help you stay on the job without putting you at risk, returning to work could be a good decision.
It can be hard to deal with lost wages after you get hurt on the job. Getting workers’ compensation benefits can make it easier for you to abide by your doctor’s orders when you can’t work for many weeks. The right benefits can reduce the financial strain that your injury will cause for your household.