Permanent Workplace Injuries And Taking A New Job: What To Know

14 January 2022
 Categories: Law, Blog

Workplace injuries can cause permanent damage for some workers. That means they are never able to return to their previous job. Your employer's workers' compensation insurance provides such workers with several benefits, and one might be the offer of a suitable job. To find out more about this and other benefits, read on.

What Happens Before the Job Offer?

Almost all workplace injuries result in the hurt worker returning to work, but some injuries are permanent. After a worker is ruled to be at maximum medical improvement (MMI), they may be offered a benefit package that includes a lump sum payment, vocational assistance, and what is known as a suitable job. Being placed in a suitable job provides the worker with a means to earn income and be productive even if they can't return to a previous job. For example, a forklift driver might have suffered a back injury that precludes ever driving a forklift again. However, a suitable job might include working in warehouse management job.

Not All Jobs Are Suitable

What makes a job suitable or not can vary depending on several factors. Disabled workers should know that they are under no obligation to accept a job that doesn't meet the below guidelines:

  • The job must be something you are already qualified to do. It should not involve having to undergo extensive education or training just to perform it.
  • In many states, a suitable job must be closely associated with your former job. That means it should be in the same general field as your previous job.
  • The job should be in the same geographical area as your old job.
  • Most disabilities come with work restrictions. A suitable job should not violate those restrictions. For example, if you have carpel tunnel syndrome and cannot use your hands and wrists very much, the suitable job should not include manipulating objects with your hands and wrists.
  • The salary must be enough that, together with your other workers' comp benefits, brings your income up to the same level as you were earning prior to your accident.

It's very easy for a hurt worker to think that things are over after they have been ruled disabled. However, not only is it possible to work and earn income, your workers' comp insurance should help you find a suitable job. Speak to a workers' comp lawyer — such as one from Carton Law Office — and find out more about your rights to second opinions, appealing rulings, and more.