I HAVEN’T BEEN RELEASED TO FULL-DUTY WORK, BUT MY EMPLOYER WANTS ME WORKING. WHY?
Often, your employer will be able to utilize you even if it isn’t in your usual capacity. Some work is better than no work, after all, and your employer does have a business to run. You should always try to do what you can following your doctor’s orders and restrictions. Your employer will need to respect those restrictions.
WHAT’S A “RETURN TO WORK” PROGRAM?
A return to work program is a strategy whereby returning employees are placed in alternate jobs, or changes are made to their current jobs so they can work within their restrictions as they heal. Again, the program is aimed at keeping you active but is limited by what limitations you may have because of your injuries.
WHAT IS A DWC FORM-073?
A DWC Form-073 is a form completed by your doctor. It states what parts of your job (lifting, bending, prolonged standing) you may safely perform. These are commonly known as your restrictions.
MY DOCTOR RELEASED ME FOR WORK BUT I DON’T THINK I’M READY. WHAT NOW?
If your doctor has cleared you to return to work, and you decide not to accept your employer’s bona fide offer of employment, you run the risk of losing your Temporary Income Benefits.
WHAT IS A BONA FIDE OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT?
A bona fide offer of employment is a written offer made by an employer of modified or alternative duties that suit the restrictions placed upon returning employees.
WHAT MUST BE INCLUDED IN A BONA FIDE OFFER OF EMPLOYMENT?
A bona fide offer of employment must include a copy of the DWC Form-073 filled out by your doctor. It must also include a description of the physical requirements of the job offered, as well as the job’s location, its hours, and pay. A bona fide offer will sometimes include a written declaration that a returning employee will be assigned only tasks within their restricted capabilities and that any training necessary to perform a modified or alternate job will be provided.
WHAT IF I’M RELEASED TO WORK, BUT MY EMPLOYER HAS NO SUITABLY MODIFIED POSITION AVAILABLE?
If your doctor has released you to return to work with restrictions, but your employer has no such modified or alternate positions available, you will continue to receive Temporary Income Benefits for as long as you are otherwise qualified.
WILL I LOSE MY BENEFITS IF I RETURN TO WORK?
Your weekly Temporary Income Benefits will be reduced or suspended when you return to work. If your doctor should take you out of work again, say if your condition worsens, your benefits can be restored, as long as you’re still otherwise eligible.
MY DOCTOR SAYS I’LL NEVER BE ABLE TO RETURN TO WORK, AS MY JOB IS VERY PHYSICALLY DEMANDING. I AM NOT QUALIFIED TO DO ANYTHING ELSE. WHAT CAN I DO?
Sometimes an injury is such that returning to your old job is not possible. In such cases, it can be difficult to start over, especially if you’ve been doing that job your whole life. If you need help starting over, the Texas Workforce Commission can, in certain situations, help train you for new employment.