Despite your eagerness to return to work, your injury may prevent you from resuming your normal duties. This inability to perform your job may only last temporarily or it could last permanently depending on the severity of your injury.
Part of the workers’ compensation benefits you receive from your employer should address your needs when you return to work. A formal plan called a return-to-work plan can help you identify your next steps as you continue to recover.
Evaluate your condition
Your health care provider can assess your medical condition and determine the likelihood of you making a full recovery. However, this information may not give you the confidence to return to work. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, a vocational evaluation can help identify your ability to effectively perform your job responsibilities. If you no longer can, an evaluation can help identify your transferrable skills to point you in the direction of alternative employment.
Plan for the future
Drawing upon the information you receive from your evaluation, you can determine whether or not to return to your former job or to begin looking for something else. If you are able to resume your job, you can collaborate with your employer to determine a good return-to-work plan. You can identify goals, negotiate modifications and make sure you will have all of the adequate resources to perform your job effectively as you continue to recover.
If you can no longer work your job, having a return-to-work plan can give you an incentive to find other jobs. You can get help with designing a new resume to market your skills. You can also receive training to help you build and strengthen new skills.