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Does returning to work impact workers' compensation benefits?

Suffering an injury in a workplace accident is usually an unexpected incident. While most employees are aware of the potential dangers in the work environment, not all risks are obvious and apparent. Thus, employers are often expected to provide safety equipment and training to help prevent potential accidents in the workplace. Nonetheless, these incidents still occur, causing the need for injured workers to take time off from work to recover.

Following a workplace accident, an injured worker is entitled to various benefits from the workers' compensation system. This includes medical care and access to all reasonably necessary treatment to cure or relieve the effects of the injury.

Workers' comp covers all medical bills, prescriptions and even round-trip mileage to the hospital. Benefits also cover temporary disability payments, monetary awards for permanent disability and vocational rehabilitation.

Does returning to work impact workers' comp benefits? Following a workplace injury, when an injured employee returns to work, workers' comp benefits could be stopped. If it is determined that the employee is receiving equal or greater pay than the worker did prior to the injury, benefits will end. However, if the employee is still suffering wage loss due to the injury, then it is likely the worker will continue receiving wage loss benefits from the workers' comp program.

If you have suffered a temporary disability or other serious injury in a workplace accident, it is important to understand your rights and options. It is possible to seek workers' compensation benefits while you are unable to work and recovering from you injuries.

Source: Findlaw.com, "Workers' Comp Benefits and Returning to Work," accessed March 19, 2017

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