March 23, 2019

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How Workers’ Compensation Helps When Returning to Work After Injury

There are many benefits to both the worker and the employer when an employee returns to the workplace after his injury. For an employee, returning to work enhances his or her financial situation. Remember, workers’ compensation payments are never 100 percent of your pay, and when you return to work, you will see a significant increase in your finances.

Employers benefit from having an injured employee recover and return to work because it means lower costs in hiring someone new and training him or her for the job.

Returning to Work after an Injury

If you intend to go back to work after your injury, inform the Iowa Workers’ Compensation Board about your plans to go back to work and the change in your employment status.  First, however, determine if your job is still open. For this reason, it’s important to continue communication with your employer during your injury and treatment.

In Iowa, companies may see a workers’ compensation premium increase if a worker is off work because of a workplace injury for more than three days. To avoid this increase in workers’ compensation premiums, Iowa employers typically encourage employees to return to work quickly if they are physically able.

Remember, however, that you might not be able to return to the same job you held, prior injury. If you’re unable to perform the same job as before, you may have to take another job that is acceptable to your physician.

Workers’ Compensation Benefits after Returning to Work

You may continue to qualify for workers’ compensation benefits even after the return to work. However, there may be exceptions, and whether you are eligible can depend on a few factors. Under Iowa workers’ compensation laws, a worker who has suffered an injury may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability (TPD) benefits when s/he can return to work, but not the same type of work that s/he previously did.

In other words, if the worker is returning to work for pay that is less than s/he was receiving earlier, s/he may qualify for TPD benefits. These will compensate for the partial reduction in the employee’s earnings, as a result of the disability.

The benefits paid are calculated based on two-thirds of the difference between the weekly earnings at the time of the injury and the gross weekly income during the period of temporary partial disability.

For more information about whether returning to work will affect your workers’ compensation benefits, and whether you will continue to qualify for disability benefits, consult with a workers’ compensation attorney in Iowa at Walker, Billingsley & Bair via our contact page or give us a call (888) 435-9886.

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