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Returning to Work After an Injury

Oakland Workers' Compensation Lawyer

If you have suffered a severe injury at your workplace, you may be wondering what will happen if you are unable to return to work. Employees who suffer permanent disability may be medically restricted from returning to the usual work, and in that case it is permissible for an employer to prohibit them from returning to work.

Returning to work becomes an important issue when an injured worker has received enough medical treatment that their physician has determined they are at the point of maximum medical improvement.

Maximum medical improvement is a status that is given to workers who are cleared under the law to return to their usual and customary employment. Many of the minor injuries that are suffered at the workplace do not require medical treatment before this status is reached and they are able to continue working without taking time off. When more serious injuries occur, the rehabilitation and medical treatments required can force an employee to refrain from working for twelve months or more.

What if I am unable to return to work?

After you have suffered an injury at work, you must undergo a qualified medical evaluation to determine the extent of your injuries. Even after you have done the medical treatments that are required, you may still be restricted from returning to your usual and customary employment by your physician. At this point, the FEHA California Employment law requires an "interactive process" to take place during which you will have a face-to-face meeting with your employer to discuss alternative or modified work that you can do.

If you are unable to return to work, you will be entitled to receive certain additional benefits under California law. These benefits can include supplemental job displacement benefit vouchers to provide financial coverage for the period of time that it takes you to find employment in a new occupation.

It is especially important to be informed about your rights under the law during this time and you will benefit from the legal guidance of an Oakland workers' compensation attorney from The Law Offices of Jonathan M. Brand.

Contact the firm today for your free consultation!

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