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What happens when you return to work after workers' comp?

Let's say that you get injured while at work, or you suffer some medical setbacks that are a direct result of your job. You will very likely receive workers' compensation benefits as a result of either of these unfortunate incidents. Obviously, this is a needed benefit for people who are unable to work.

But here's the question: what happens when you return to work? Does the fact that you received workers' comp affect what happens to you when you get back to your job?

The short answer is that, yes, workers' comp can affect what happens to you when you return to work -- though your employment shouldn't be in question. Instead, your wages will become the big sticking point. For example, if you make the same amount or more when you return from the injury, then workers' comp benefits will almost certainly be stopped. If, however, you are not making as much due to the injury, then you could still earn workers' comp benefits while working, though at a reduced rate.

Additionally, if you try to get a new job after obtaining workers' comp because your injury or illness prevents you from performing your job, you could be paid "vocational rehabilitation" to help you secure that new position.

Your income could also be supplemented if you are experiencing wage losses as a result of the work injury or illness that forced you on to workers' compensation in the first place. As with any of these circumstances, if you are confused about your workers' comp situation, you should talk with an attorney.

Source: FindLaw, "Workers' Comp Benefits and Returning to Work," Accessed Nov. 9, 2015

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