An injury that keeps you from working can bring on a lot of anxiety. You might be wondering how to get the money to be able to make ends meet. Some might even have to worry about whether or not they’ll be able to keep their jobs in the time it takes them to recover. In some cases, you might even be left dealing with the thought that you might never be able to return back to work.
Unfortunately many find that we don’t always have a great system in place to protect injured workers. If you’re already dealing with a debilitating injury, the last thing you want is to have to worry about work-related stress.
For injured workers, there are a few different factors that could affect how to go about handling your professional life.
If you’re injured on the job
Injuries that are caused while you’re at work can give you a little more protection. Workers who are injured at work could qualify for worker’s compensation. What you receive in worker’s will depend on what state you work in. When you’re injured at work, the first thing you want to do immediately after receiving medical care is to make your supervisor aware of your situation. Worker’s compensation can help you pay your medical bills and covers your wages for the time you need off. Reporting the situation after 30 days of it occurring could result in you losing some of the benefits from worker’s compensation.
Your employer will have a worker’s compensation insurance plan already, and it most cases it’s in your best interest to accept it. However, accepting your employer’s insurance plan for your work injury forfeits your right to sue if your employer. Most employers will give you enough worker’s comp to avoid the larger issue of being sued. If you feel like you’re in a position where you need to sue, you might want to look into speaking with a worker’s compensation lawyer.
If your injury occurred outside of work
Those injured outside of work could find that they might not have the same options as people who experience a work-related injury. Workers injured outside of work are not entitled to receiving worker’s compensation. The first thing you should do is check to see how many sick days and vacation days you have. Using all the paid time off you have to recover from your injury ensures that you’ll still be able to keep your job and get a paycheck.
But what happens after you use up all your time? If you have short term disability insurance, you could receive benefits to help you cover your bills. If you don’t have a short term disability plan yourself, your state might have one for workers and occasionally some employers will voluntarily provide you with one. Some might be denied short term disability. If you think you might have been denied disability unfairly, you might want to speak with a lawyer who can help your case, like a bike injury lawyer.
Depending on how long you need to be off for, you should speak to your employer about using the Family and Medical Leave Act. If your company is larger than 50 people and you’ve been there for more than one year, you could be entitled to up to 12 weeks off from work. During that time, you won’t be getting paid, but you will be able to keep your job after you’ve recovered.
Depending on the severity of your injury, you might also want to speak with your employer about any accommodations they can make. Things, like working from home or working different hours, might make you able to continue working or return to work faster as you recover.
For some more severe injuries, you might not be able to recover to the condition you need to be in to be able to perform your work duties. Unfortunately, employers are not obligated to keep your position open for you if your unable to do the tasks associated with your job. In this case, you might want to look into applying for a new job you’re capable of doing. If your medical condition looks like it will prevent you from doing any type of work in the future, you might need to apply for Social Security Disability benefits.
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