Returning to Work
July 12, 2016
By Shelley W. Elovitz, Esq.
If you are completely recovered from your work injury, and your doctor has released you to return to your full, unrestricted job, we may advise you to sign a Final Receipt and return to work.
However, if you are only partially recovered from your work injury, and you have returned and are working in pain, or if your doctor has released you to return to a modified or light duty job, we may advise you to sign a Supplemental Agreement and return to work on a trial basis.
If you sign a Supplemental Agreement and return to work, your case may be re-opened at a later date if the Supplemental Agreement states that you were still injured at the time that you returned to work. A Supplemental Agreement can be used to modify, suspend, reinstate or terminate your benefits.
You have 500 weeks— which is 9 and 1/2 years— from the date that you sign the Supplemental Agreement to re-open your case.
You may re-open your case if your disability has recurred or has changed from a partial disability to a total disability. You may re-open your case if you miss work or lose your job because of continued problems with your injury. You may re-open your case if you lose the complete use of the injured part of your body, even if you do not miss work because of it. If this happens, we may be able to get you additional benefits known as specific loss benefits.
If any of these events happen, you must notify us so that we may start the process to have your benefits reinstated. The more time that passes, the more difficult it will be to re-open your case.
It is important that you monitor your case and write to us at least once every year to let us know what your medical treatment has been and the current condition of your injury. We may send you a Medical Update form several times a year for you to complete and return for this purpose.