Getting back to your original job and wages after an injury or illness is harder to do the longer you are off of work. While returning to work may preserve your earning power, returning too soon after an injury can complicate your recovery and your health. If possible, you may be able to return to work doing transitional work while you completely recover from your injury.
Getting Back to Work
A new L&I program reimburses eligible employers for providing a light-duty or transitional job. By working closely with your doctor and employer, you can get back to work as quickly as possible.
- Keep in touch with your employer and ask if they know about the Stay at Work program
- Ask your employer about options for getting back to work, such as light-duty or a transitional job, or workplace modifications
- Talk to your healthcare provider about jobs you can do safely
Even though returning to work in a light-duty or transitional job will not affect the status of your claim, your time-loss benefits could be affected if your employer offers you light-duty or transitional work.
In some cases, the severity of an injury may make it difficult to return to work. If so, your claim manager may assign a vocational counselor to work with you, your employer and your doctor to evaluate your return-to-work options by asking:
- Can your regular job be temporarily modified? By including part-time or light-duty work, the physical demands of a job can sometimes be temporarily changed to accommodate physical restrictions.
- Can your regular job be permanently modified? Sometimes, it is possible for employers to permanently alter the physical demands of a job to customize it to certain physical restrictions.
- Can you return to a new job with your employer? Sometimes, a different job is available with your employer that accommodates your physical restrictions.
Some workers have injuries that prevent them from ever returning to work with their employer, but they may have skills to enter another line of work. In this case, a vocational counselor can help you assess your employability, and design a training program for L&I’s approval, by matching your skillset, limitations and abilities to job opportunities in your area.
Contact Seattle Worker’s Compensation Attorneys
We understand that getting better and returning to work are important to you. However, sometimes the technicalities of L&I’s vocational services can be confusing. Don’t hesitate to contact our knowledgeable Seattle worker’s compensation attorneys with any questions you may have.
If you are interested in learning more about your legal options, call us at 1-800-708-6000. Our Seattle worker’s compensation attorneys are waiting to assist you 24/7, offering a free case evaluation. Remember our no fee promise. If we do not recover anything for you, you do not owe us an attorney fee.
The workers’ compensation lawyers at Phillips Law Firm have successfully represented injured individuals and their families in Seattle, Tacoma, Vancouver, Bellevue, Everett, Kent, Auburn, Renton, Federal Way, Bellingham, Marysville, Lakewood, Redmond, Shoreline, and throughout the State of Washington.