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When Can I Return To Work After a Work Injury?

Workers who suffer an injury at work can cover the cost of their medical bills through the Missouri worker’s comp program. Additionally, the benefits can also help you with lost wages payments if your doctor recommends you take some time off to recover.

However, if you’re at home, you are likely wondering when you can return to work. Many workers are worried that the more time they are taken out of commission, the harder it will be for them to go back to a regular routine. Unfortunately, there is no clear answer for every situation.

returning to work after a work injury

Your Doctor Is the Only One Who Can Decide It

You can only return to work when your worker’s comp doctor decides it based on your symptoms. There are two possible scenarios here:

  • You are completely recovered, so you can go back to work with no problems
  • You still need to follow some treatment, but your condition has improved enough for you to be able to perform light-duty tasks

There is really no way to tell how long you’ll be staying at home. Even your treating physician can only estimate a rough treatment timeline, but there is no guarantee that the timeline won’t be changed. Sometimes, injuries or health conditions can be unpredictable and can keep you at home longer than your doctor previously thought.

For example, let’s say you broke your leg and your doctor says you need to stay at home for 2 months to heal properly. After the two months are up, you still need to go back to the doctor for another check-up, where they can clear you for work. But during the check-up, the doctor discovers your leg didn’t heal properly, and you need additional treatment or even surgery. This will prolong your stay at home.

Will It Affect My Claim?

No. There is no limit for the treatment period under worker’s compensation, and your claim and job should not be affected by how long you have to stay at home.

Additionally, your doctor is the only one who can decide if you’re healthy enough to return to work. Your employer or the insurance company covering your treatment have no say in the matter.

If you’re being pressured by your employer, or the insurance company is trying to cut your treatment short, they are breaking the law and you should contact a Missouri work injury lawyer right away to protect your rights.

Protecting Your Legal Right to Compensation

At this time, what matters is your health. Even if you have to stay at home longer than you hoped, remember your doctor decided it in order to allow your body to heal properly.

If you’re experiencing any issues with your worker’s comp claim, a Missouri worker’s comp lawyer can help. Reach out to an attorney now for a case evaluation and to see what your best legal options are.

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Updated: March 18, 2020

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