There are many questions that often arise when you are deemed appropriate to return to work.  The Workers Compensation Medical Experts at AOR will work closely with your workers compensation case manager, employer, and the rest of your team to ensure a safe transition.  Below are some often asked questions that present during your workers compensation experience.

When do I to actually return to work?

Depending on the circumstances and in many instances, you may be released to work with restrictions the same day as your office visit. It is a good idea to fully read and understand your work capacity form(s) that you are given.  It is in your best interest to follow your doctor’s orders and to comply with those instructions.

Can I start work next week since that is the start of my work schedule?

Unfortunately, without a good clinical reason, your orthopedic surgeon cannot put you back to work next week. If you are ready to return to work on light duty or regular duty, you will be expected to go back the very next work day.

Can I get a note that excuses me from work for last week?

Unfortunately, we do not excuse patients from work for days that preceded their office visit or if they did not contact our office on the day in question.  The only way to get a note that excuses you from work is to be seen by your doctor or to call our office and speak to our workers’ compensation team manager to explain why you cannot go to work.

In other words, you cannot expect to get the doctor to excuse you from work if you did not notify our case manager or the doctor even if your absence really was due to your injury.

What do I do if my employer or supervisor asks me to do work that is not listed on the work capacity form?

If your employer is asking an injured employee to perform work tasks that is more than is listed on the work capacity form, it is a result of a miscommunication or misunderstanding. If this happens, please call our Workers’ Compensation department at (833)-8workcomp or our office at (724) 225-8657 so that we can help you resolve the problem by speaking with the doctor, insurance carrier, and even the employer if necessary.

When will I start getting paid?

We recognize that We recognize that being injured can be a financial hardship for patients, but we do not control the compensation checks for injured workers. This is up to your workers compensation insurance adjustor.

What do I do if my employer continuously asks me to do work that the work capacity form states I should avoid?

Unfortunately, we cannot control what happens at your workplace. We will do our best to work with your employer in seeing the benefit of cooperating with the work restrictions that have been indicated. If this does not happen, your should contact your insurance adjuster, your workers compensation case manager, and our office to resolve such issues. We can try to help in these circumstances, but our influence in your workplace is often limited.

If the work capacity form indicates “Light duty for 2 weeks, then regular duty,” does that include weekends or does that mean 14 work days?

Your “2 weeks” will include weekends, and means that in 14 days from the date specified on the work capacity form, you are to be under light duty restrictions then after the 14 days, you will return to regular duty activities.

If the work capacity form says, “No work with one arm”, does that mean the employee can work with the other arm?

The short answer is Yes. Your work capacity form is intended to give you and your employer an idea as to what kind of activity is permitted so that the injured patient can remain active and productive, while avoiding further injury.

It is in the best interest of the injured employee and the employer if everyone abides by the work restrictions. Making injured employees perform work that results in further injuries, prolongs their recovery and potentially increases their eventual impairment.