HOW DO I RETURN TO WORK?
After an injury or illness, returning to work safely and promptly can help in your recovery. It can also help you avoid financial losses from being off work. After you are hurt on the job, several people will work with you to decide when you are ready to return to work and what work you will do.
These people include:
- Your primary treating doctor.
- Your employer (supervisors or others in management).
- The claims administrator.
- Your attorney, if you have one.
It is important that everyone stay in close contact throughout the process. You should actively communicate with your treating doctor, your employer and the claims administrator about:
- The work you did before you were injured.
- Your medical condition and the kinds of work you can do now.
- The kinds of work your employer could make available to you or whether your job duties can be changed during your recovery.
Employers are also provided with incentives to get injured employees back to work as quickly as possible.
What if there is a disagreement about my rights to these benefits?
At some point during your claim, you or the claims administrator might disagree with what your treating physician reports about your injury or treatment. When there is a disagreement, you may be evaluated by a qualified medical evaluator (QME).
To qualify as a QME, a physician must meet additional educational and licensing requirements. They must also pass a test and participate in ongoing education on the Workers' Compensation evaluation process. If you have an attorney, your attorney and your claims administrator might instead agree on a doctor to resolve medical disputes. This doctor is called an agreed medical evaluator (AME). Using an AME is not mandated, but it often leads to a quicker resolution of a case.