After your doctor gives you permanent medical restrictions, you may have legitimate, stressful concerns about how the restrictions will impact your job. For people with a wide range of physical restrictions, returning to the same jobs they performed before their injuries could be impossible.
If You Can Perform Some of Your Old Job
Workers who can perform some of their old job duties from before their injuries have a few options. They can talk to their employers about returning to work with restrictions. Whether this is possible depends on a few factors:
- Types of restrictions (e.g., lifting, sitting, driving, etc.)
- Duties prohibited by the restrictions
- Main duties of the job
- Employer’s flexibility in modifying job duties
Also, the employer may have other job positions available that the employee can perform with restrictions, or with fewer modifications than their old jobs. To explore whether these options are viable for you, talk to your doctor, your employer, and your Qualified Rehabilitation Consultant (QRC) if you are working with one.
If You Cannot Perform Your Old Job
Workers who cannot perform the jobs they held before their injuries due to permanent work restrictions can (1) move into a new position at the same employer (discussed above), (2) find a new job, or (3) depending on age and restrictions, explore retirement or permanent disability.
QRCs and rehabilitation plans, which are available through the Minnesota workers’ compensation system, can help injured workers prepare for the job search, identify jobs they can perform, apply for the jobs, and retrain for a new industry if needed. Talk to your lawyer about requesting a rehabilitation evaluation. If you are retirement age or have significant restrictions limiting your ability to perform most job, talk to your lawyer about possible retirement or disability options.
If Your Employer Fires You
When you cannot perform your old job or another job at your employer because of permanent medical restrictions, your employer may terminate your employment. Fortunately, you probably will qualify for workers’ compensation wage replacement benefits while you look for a new job. If you cannot return to any job, you may qualify for permanent total disability benefits. Your benefits eligibility will be determined in the course of your workers’ compensation case.
Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.