When an employee in Illinois is injured while on the job, they may have to deal with lengthy medical treatment, time off from work and even lost wages. When such an accident occurs, workers’ compensation benefits can be utilized to ensure that you are still properly cared for during your recovery time spent away from work. For some, the ultimate goal may be to return to work after returning from an injury, and in some instances, these benefits can continue to aid that employee even after rejoining the work force.
Going back to work after suffering a work-related injury differs from being reinstated under the Family Medical Leave Act. While FMLA mandates that an employee must be put back in their original position or one of equal standing, this is not the case with an injured worker. In fact, workers’ compensation law does not even mandate that you be reinstated at all.
Despite that, for those who do reenter the work force, there is the potential for a drop in previous earning power for injury-related reasons. If you are unable to earn a similar wage to what you did before the accident, then you may be eligible for wage loss benefits. While these types of benefits are usually greatly reduced, they can still be essential for long-term recovery.
Simply because an injured employee returns to work does not mean that all benefits will be stopped. While such an injury may not entirely preclude you from returning to some type of work, you may find that you are unable to perform tasks that you previously were able to, and your earning potential may be negatively impacted. Continued workers’ compensation benefits through wage loss benefits are a right that injured Illinois employees have. If you suspect that you have been wrongly denied this type of compensation, it is possible to appeal that decision.
Source: FindLaw, “Workers’ Comp Benefits and Returning to Work“, , Sept. 1, 2014