Have you been getting Workers’ Compensation benefits but recently received a “Notice of Ability to Return to Work” form from your employer? Or, has it offered you your job back or requested that you return to work in a modified or light duty position within the company?
If so, your employer may be taking steps to return you to the workforce and to have your Workers’ Compensation wage loss benefits stopped through a suspension or modification petition. If you feel as though you cannot do the work it is asking of you or that you are not yet physically or mentally ready to return to work — take steps of your own and contact us.
What happens after you receive a Notice of Ability to Return to Work? If your employer has a specific job vacancy that you are deemed medically capable of performing, it is legally obligated to offer it to you. If you receive such an offer and either fail to respond or refuse to return to work and attempt the position being offered — you could lose your benefits.
If the employer does not have a suitable job vacancy, it may seek to have you undergo a vocational interview with a vocational counselor in order to demonstrate your earning power by conducting a labor market survey. Your earning power is determined by analyzing the work that you are capable of performing within your transferable skills and within your medical restrictions. This is based upon a vocational counselor’s research, which includes job listings with agencies of the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, private job placements, and other agencies and advertisements.
If no jobs within your restrictions are available at your time-of-injury employer, the analysis will then look at transferable skills from your work history gathered from an interview with a vocational counselor of your employer’s choosing or from the insurance company’s choosing. The vocational counselor will apply these transferable skills and your medical restrictions to survey the labor market to find jobs that are available in your area. This is done in an attempt to show a Workers’ Compensation judge that you are capable of performing work generally in your area and that your wage loss benefits should be stopped or reduced.
If you receive a request to have a vocational interview from your employer or its insurance company, please contact us immediately to learn what you should do and how to protect your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
Protecting the rights of injured workers is what we do, all day, every day. Talk to our work injury lawyers in Philadelphia about protecting yours. For a free consultation — call the Law Offices of Gross & Kenny, LLP at 267-589-0090 or contact us online.