One of the reasons that workers’ compensation claims can be so expensive is that a worker may be temporarily incapable of supporting themselves and will therefore require disability benefits. Disability benefits are expensive to provide and are also often stressful for a worker to depend on, as they don’t fully replace lost wages.
Employees in Texas with an injury that limits their ability to do their job may require a leave of absence temporarily after getting hurt. Who determines when a worker is ready to go back to their job after a leave of absence related to an injury?
The physician managing treatment determines the timeline
The doctor overseeing someone’s care after an injury on the job plays a very important role. They can suggest specific treatments and workplace accommodations to help an employee recover as quickly as possible. They also determine if a worker is unable to work and when they can return to their job.
If a physician believes that a patient has achieved maximum medical improvement for their condition, they may then want to put a plan in place to get them back at work as soon as possible. Often, a return to work plan will include certain accommodations from an employer, such as assistive technology or altered job responsibilities. In cases where an employee believes that their symptoms will still limit their functionality, they may need to communicate that to their doctor or look for a second opinion.
Understanding how the transition back to work unfolds can help those currently receiving workers’ compensation benefits know what to expect in the future.