Often, it is very obvious when an injured worker is too hurt to continue working or recovered enough to get back to the job. However, some situations do fall into a sort of gray area.
A worker may feel like they are not ready to go back yet because of a lack of strength or ongoing pain, and their employer thinks that they should be ready to do the same work as always. Businesses may become impatient about a worker still receiving disability pay or needing medical care.
What happens during a Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim when there is a disagreement between the worker and their employer about when they are ready to go back to work?
Medical testing may be necessary to resolve the dispute
It is not uncommon for workers and their employers to disagree about when it is time for a claim to end on the worker to get back on the job. The state has specific rules in place to resolve this kind of disagreement.
Employers can request an Independent Medical Examination (IME). The worker receiving benefits will have to submit to specialized testing to determine the current impact of their condition on their function. In some cases, the IME may result in an order for the employee to go back to work, possibly with certain accommodations. Other times, the outcome may establish that the employee has not recovered enough to resume their former job responsibilities.
Understanding what happens when there is a dispute with your Pennsylvania workers’ compensation claim will help you know how to respond if a dispute arises.