Returning to Work with Restrictions After an Injury
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Returning to Work with Restrictions After an Injury

Many injured workers return to work with restrictions after they recover from their injuries. When you have work restrictions, they can affect everything from the benefits you receive to your ability to perform your old job. This blog answers some common questions about work restrictions.

What Are Work Restrictions?

Work restrictions are also referred to as medical restrictions, light duty, or simply as restrictions. They are medical recommendations made by your doctor about your ability or inability to perform certain tasks. Restrictions also can include recommendations about treatment needs, breaks, or work schedules.

Similar to getting a doctor’s note for a regular medical checkup that you give your employer, you should get a doctor’s note or workability report from the doctor treating your workplace injuries that lists your restrictions. Give this note to your employer and make sure your employer acknowledges that you have medical restrictions.

What If I Cannot Perform My Old Job with My Restrictions?

You may have restrictions that prevent you from performing the job you held before the injury. Once you tell your employer about the restrictions, your employer may offer you light duty work, make accommodations (changes) to your duties to allow you to meet your restrictions, or assign you to a new job.

Sometimes, employers genuinely cannot accommodate particular restrictions. In that situation, you can receive wage loss benefits and rehabilitation benefits that help you get a new job within your restrictions. Sometimes, employers say they cannot accommodate restrictions as a pretext for firing or demoting an injured worker. In that situation, inform your workers’ compensation attorney, who can help you find an employment law attorney to address possible disability discrimination and failure to accommodate.

What If I Am Having Trouble Performing My Job, Even with Restrictions?

You should talk to your doctor about changing your restrictions and issuing an updated doctor’s note. Explain which parts of your job you are having trouble performing, and why. Your doctor may recommend additional leave, changes in your schedule, limited bending and stooping, or many other possible restrictions. Note that sometimes, workers’ compensation insurance companies try to get workers back to their old jobs before they are truly ready, and sometimes workers push themselves to do the same. Take the time you need to recover and get the restrictions you need, or you could make your original injury worse.

Are you having trouble returning to work after an injury because you have medical restrictions? 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.