After a workplace injury, you might worry about when you can get back to work. You may be fine if you are healthy enough to just work a limited job until you recover. This is where your treating doctor may give you important help.
The California Department of Industrial Relations explains that your doctor will prepare a report that describes your medical condition. Your doctor will send this report to the claims administrator who handles your claim. This report will also explain if you can work and any limitations you may have in working.
Describing your work limitations
Because of your injury, you may not be able to do certain tasks because you cannot physically perform them or you may hurt yourself further by trying to do them. Your doctor should explain if you have any of these limitations and specifically define them.
For example, if you have hurt your back, your doctor may report that you cannot do a job that requires you to bend or stoop over. Your doctor will probably also inform you that you cannot lift heavy or even moderate loads.
Describing changes to your work conditions
If you can return to your workplace, your doctor should tell you about any changes you should make to your work situation. You may need to work fewer hours in the day. Your employer might give you different assignments that you can handle. Even if you can work, you may require medical aids or equipment to protect yourself. For example, you could wear braces on injured parts of your body like your back or your wrists.
No work restrictions at all
It is possible that your injury did nothing to hamper your ability to do the same job you did before you got hurt. If so, your doctor should note this in the report. Your employer should allow you to return to your old job and at the same pay prior to your injury. You may still need some time to recover, so you might not take your job back right away.
If you do not understand any details regarding your ability to work, ask your doctor. Gather all the information you can so you have a clear strategy to return to work.