Question: I was injured on the job last year and I’m collecting Workers Comp benefits. The insurance company sent me to their doctor who says I can go back to work. If they make me a job offer, what do I do? Anonymous, Scranton, Pa.
Answer: If you are receiving workers compensation benefits and your employer secures evidence (usually a medical opinion) that shows you can return to work in some capacity, your employer may chose to make an offer of employment to you. The offered employment must be within your medical restrictions and in your local area. Once the offer is made you have the right to either accept or decline the job offer. If you decline the offer of employment, you must have a valid reason to do so.
If you decline the job offer, your employer will likely file a petition to reduce or suspend your wage loss benefits.The petition will be litigated before a workers compensation judge. The insurance company/employer must continue to pay benefits while the petition is litigated, unless the judge orders otherwise. Hearings will be held and depositions of witnesses may be taken as well. The judge will hear evidence from both you and your employer regarding the availability of the offered work and medical evidence which adddresses your ability to perform that work. Once all of the evidence is presented, the judge will render a decision.
If you’ve suffered a work injury and have questions about your claim, contact me at [email protected] or call (570) 347-1011 for a free consultation.
Disclaimer: The above article is for instructive purposes only and each case is fact sensitive. Consultation with an attorney should be obtained instead of reliance upon the legal issues discussed in this column.