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Does workers' compensation determine when you can return to work?

If you have been receiving workers' compensation benefits and recovering from a work injury, you may be considering a return to work. While it may be important to return to work quickly, recipients of workers' compensation benefits cannot simply determine a return to the job without approval from several parties. Those who have been injured are entitled to protect their right to financial assistance after a work injury and and to seek an expedient return to employment. 

Before returning to the workplace, your doctor must determine that you are physically able to work. Additionally, your employer and claims administrator must also approve a date to return to work, as well as approve the type of work that you will be permitted to do. A California workers' compensation attorney can help you navigate the process by representing your best interests. 

You may be proactive in this process, maintaining contact with all pertinent parties. Everyone should know what type of work you did before your accident, as well as what work you are capable of doing post-accident. Employers must provide you with certain accommodations if you are unable to perform the exact job as you did in the past. 

The workers' compensation process is a benefit available to all California workers who are injured or become ill on-the-job, but it can be complicated to get the right answers and the help you need after a work accident. Certain benefits, such as rehabilitation and medication, may continue even after you return to work. With so many variables, it simply makes good sense to protect your rights throughout the entire recovery process with the assistance of a lawyer experienced in representing workers in these types of proceedings. 

Source: dir.ca.gov, "How I return to work", Accessed on Feb. 10, 2015

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