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Missouri Sunset

3 facts about returning to work after a workers’ comp injury

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Posted on May 24, 2022

After an injury, getting back to work is a priority for companies and employees.

The following details may help everyone understand what options are available for employees to return to their jobs.

1. Employers might need to make modifications

Doctors overseeing the medical care of injured employees might allow them to return to work in a limited capacity. The restrictions vary between work requirements and the nature of the injuries. Some examples of modified duty are:

  • Working part-time
  • Taking frequent breaks
  • Sitting or standing when needed
  • Limiting weight lifting activities
  • Working in a less rigorous job position

Employers must do their best to accommodate reasonable limitations. Often, companies and employees can work together to develop acceptable modifications.

2. Employers may experience a temporary pay cut

If job modifications prevent employees from working in their original positions or for fewer hours than before the injury, they might lose some wages. Fortunately, Missouri workers’ compensation may make up the difference in pay between what employees made before their injuries and the short-term positions. Temporary partial disability payments might bring employees’ income closer to what they earned before the accident.

3. Doctors determine when employees return to full-duty

Medical doctors oversee worker’s compensation treatment. Once employees return to maximum medical improvement, doctors clear them for work. However, sometimes employees may not feel ready to return. If employees decide they are not prepared to go back to work after their doctors determine they can, they risk losing additional workers’ compensation funds.

Employees and employers can work together to get the worker back on the job after an injury.