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Frequently Asked Questions About Returning to Work in a New York Workers’ Compensation Case

by | Aug 28, 2023 | Workers' Compensation

Most workers’ compensation cases aim to get workers well and get them back on the job. Yet sometimes, the return to work doesn’t go very smoothly.

Here’s what you need to know about some of the most common issues that can arise when a person returns to work. 

How long can you be out on workers comp in NY?

In New York, you may stay out on workers’ compensation from 225 to 525 weeks, depending on the injury you have sustained and the amount of money you lose when you can’t go to work.

If you are permanently disabled, you may be eligible for lifetime benefits.

Does my employer have to hold my job while I am on worker’s comp?

Your employer isn’t required to keep your job open for you unless you are using your Family and Medical Leave Act (FMLA) benefits, which can protect your job for up to 12 weeks. 

Hiring is expensive, and finding the right hire is difficult. Therefore, many employers do hold jobs for injured employees, even if they don’t have to.

How does returning to work impact a workers’ compensation claim?

You should still be able to receive ongoing medical care, and you can expect workers’ compensation to continue to pay for your care needs.

If you are earning the same amount of money, your wage benefit may come to an end. If you’re earning less than you earned before the accident, your wage benefit may make up some of the difference.

If you return to work before a doctor clears you, you could lose your entire workers’ compensation claim, regardless of whether or not you are returning to your former workplace or a new one. 

If your injury worsens while working, immediately report the situation to your employer.

What happens if a New York employer tries to violate a doctor’s orders?

Be sure to document employer instructions, conversations you have with your employer about your light duty restrictions and anything else that might qualify. You may need to retain a workers’ compensation lawyer to protect your rights.

Anyone who is partially disabled is eligible for reasonable accommodations on the job, but employers often have very different ideas about what is “reasonable.” In addition, if your physician documents your light-duty restrictions and is in writing, then your employer may not violate them without consequence. 

Get Help Today

If you’re struggling with your workers’ compensation claim, contact our office for help. We’ve helped hundreds of New Yorkers resolve their workers’ compensation cases and can help you, too.

Contact us to schedule a free case evaluation today.

See also:

What Happens When a Work-Related Injury Exacerbates a Pre-Existing Condition in New York?

What is the Difference Between Temporary and Permanent Disability in a NY Workers’ Comp Case?

4 Questions You May Have About Workers’ Compensation