Do I Have to Go Back to Worker after Taking Workers Compensation in Georgia?
No, it isn’t mandatory that you return to work once your Georgia workers’ compensation benefits have come to an end. There is no law in Georgia requiring this. Whether or not you wish to continue working is your own choice based upon your personal goals, financial status, physical fitness, and the severity of your injuries. You have the option of going back to work, finding another job, or remaining unemployed and continuing to seek disability benefits from an alternative source.
Carefully Consider Your Options
Many people who sustain injuries on the job in Georgia have the goal of eventually returning to work. They get physical therapy and medical care, occupational therapy, and rehabilitation to help them return to the same jobs they held before sustaining their injuries. With a career comes the life purpose and meaning of a worker, as well as essential financial benefits for supporting your family. Even though worker’s compensation can cover your basic living expenses when you’re too injured to work, these benefits do not replace the earnings and employment benefits that come with a full-time job.
However, if you’ve suffered an illness or injury that has resulted in a permanent disability, going back to work may not be an option. It may not be possible to continue cognitively or physically performing the responsibilities of your former position. If you have the ability to return to work but at a lesser capacity, your earnings may decrease. If you’re unable to go back to work at all, you stand to lose an entire lifetime of wages. There may be a government program that offers financial assistance and allows you to quit your job in each of these instances such as Social Security.
Even if you recover enough to return to work, you may decide not to if your were close to your targeted age of retirement. For instance, if you were planning on retiring within the next several years, pushing yourself to get back to work following any serious illness or injury might not make sense. Make sure that you completely understand the retirement benefits you’re eligible for as well as the way in which your pension plan works before deciding to take an early retirement following a work-related accident.
Establish Your Plan
Whether you’re eligible for temporary or permanent disability payment through a Georgia workers’ compensation claim, your workers’ compensation will eventually come to an end. These benefits aren’t going to last forever. In most cases, injured parties can receive workers’ compensation benefits for a maximum of 400 weeks. Establish a plan for when your benefits expire. Should this plan entail going back to work, do keep in contact with your employer throughout the healing process.
In the state of Georgia, injured workers can take a maximum of 12 weeks of unpaid leave without fear of losing their employment due to the federal Family Medical Leave Act. To be eligible for this benefit, you will need to have been employed at your place of work for no less than one year, and you’ll need to have worked at minimum of 1,250 hours. If you’re qualified for medical leave, your position should still be available for your when you’re ready to go back. Regularly communicate with your supervisor or employer to keep them abreast of your recovery and of your plans for returning to work. This will give your employer the opportunity to get ready for your return.
Don’t Attempt to Rush the Healing Process
Don’t let your supervisor or employer rush you into returning to work before you’re actually ready. Even if your workers’ compensation benefits expire, you might be qualified to receive alternative forms of financial assistance to help cover your living costs and those of your family while you heal. For example, if someone else is responsible for your workplace accident, such as a coworker or your employer, you might be qualified to receive compensation for your lost wages throughout the entirety of your healing process if you file a personal injury claim.
Take the time that’s necessary for fully healing and for achieving your point of maximum improvement before heading back in to the job. If you don’t, you may put your safety and health at risk by opting to go back to soon. For additional information about returning to work after filing a workers’ compensation claim, get in touch with a Georgia workers’ comp attorney.