Job offers in Workers’ Compensation cases. You’ve been hurt on the job. You’ve suffered a work injury. For now it seems you can’t do the work that you were doing at the time of your injury. Hopefully it’s temporary. You may be receiving your workers’ compensation checks or you may fighting to get them. It’s a stressful time. You want to get better and go back to work. You’re bills may be piling up. You just want to be left alone to get your treatment so you can heal and move on. But you then receive a letter from the workers’ compensation insurance carrier or your employer, A Notice of Ability to Return to Work. Or a letter scheduling an exam, a job offer, or a request for a vocational interview. What does it mean?
Generally if you are off for a work injury and collecting work comp the workers’ compensation insurance carrier can have you examined as is reasonable and necessary by a doctor of their choosing. An IME- insurance medical evaluation or independent medical evaluation. If you are trying to get work comp they can have you examined as well. What if their doctor says you can go back to harder work than your doctor says you can do?
The law requires you make a good faith effort in an attempt to return back to the work force. The employer and insurance company also must make a good faith effort. Your failure to cooperate in good faith can possibly jeopardize your entitlement to workers compensation checks/benefits.
If there is a doctor, doesn’t have to be your doctor, that feels you can return to some level of employment and your employer is offering you work within those restrictions and you try the job and stop or don’t try the job at all a workmens compensation judge may end up deciding if you attempted the job in good faith. And if it is determined you didn’t you may not get workmens compensation benefits.
If the workers compensation insurance company has a vocational interview of you and issues a Labor Market Survey or Earning Power Assessment a judge may have to determine whether your entitlement to benefits should be suspended or modified based on the survey.
A Notice of Ability to Return to Work is a warning that the insurance company may be developing evidence to limit what they have to pay you.
A Notice of Ability to Return to Work, Job Offers, Vocational Interviews, and Independent Medical Exams all involve complicated legal issues that one should not confront without an attorney. Insurance companies know the rules, lawyers know the rules. You don’t. Contact the lawyers at Dugan & Associates now at 1-888-99-D-U-G-A-N or 1-888-993-8426.