In certain cases a work-related injury can be very serious and demand that the injured worker takes time off from work, though sometimes the injuries do not impact a worker’s job performance.
What if an employee has hurt their foot while at work, but their job only requires them to use their hands and intelligence?
Should I Take Time Off For Work Injury in Fort Bend TX?
In this event, most injured employees who have ended up with a work-related injury or sickness that does not impact their job performance tend to wonder if they really need to file a workers’ compensation claim, and take time off from work.
There are times when an employee is injured and decides not to report their work-related injury to their employer because they don’t see a point in doing so, or they believe that their injury is not qualifying, because it doesn’t affect their ability to perform work well.
Instead, these injured employees completely forego a workers’ compensation claim and just seek medical care through their health insurance.
Depending on eligibility, these employees should know that they could still seek workers’ compensation medical benefits, even if they do not need to take time off from work.
Getting Injured Workers Back To Work In Texas
Texas is a big believer in encouraging injured employees to continue to be employed in some way as they get better from their work-related injuries.
The state of Texas strongly advocates for employers to implement the Return to Work Program for injured workers.
Return to Work Programs are designed to offer a recovering injured worker an alternative work assignment, or a “light duty” option with a reduced pay rate, as they recuperate from their work-related injury.
While a worker is recovering from their work-related injury or sickness, there are many reasons why the worker should stay engaged in their job.
- Ensuring that injured workers are back into the workforce as quickly as possible
- Keeps the injured employee engaged in their work
- Upholds worker morale
- Maintains the injured worker’s income
- Lessens any kind of social benefits (welfare, disability benefits, etc.) that the injured worker might have to utilize during their recovery period; and
- Ensures that the injured worker has taxable income.
Getting Medical Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation
In the case that an employee is able to keep working even though they have a work-related injury or ailment, the employee will not necessarily be in need of income benefits through workers’ comp for the reason that the worker can still do their job, or have an alternative work assignment for pay.
But even if a work-related injury or sickness does not entail that the injured employee take off of work, it doesn’t mean that receiving medical treatment for the injury won’t cost the injured employee money out of their own pocket.
An injured employee who doesn’t have to take time off of work can still look for workers’ compensation medical benefits to help pay for medical expenses.
If an injured employee is still earning their income, they will not need to apply for income benefits, this way those who need income benefits are still able to apply through the Texas workers’ compensation system.
An injured worker in Texas, should only take the appropriate time off from their work to ensure that they have received medical attention and recovered well for their work-related injury or ailment.
If a worker takes off more time than needed, the worker could risk their employment status, as well as, having their workers’ compensation claim denied.
Injured Workers Should Discuss Their Options With Their Employers
Most people don’t want to take time away from their job, because they feel helpless and useless if they have to be away too long.
In some instances, a worker will be injured on the job, but in a way that doesn’t hinder their work too much, if so, they should discuss this situation with their employer.
An employer can be encouraged to seek ways that an injured employee can still work, while recovering, as long as the employee and employer discuss the situation.
Maybe there is a “light duty” version of the employee’s current job or even some alternative assignments that the worker can do while recovering, ensuring that the worker is engaged and still earning an income.
Typically, a clearing with a designated doctor is required by the boss, to make sure that the injured employee can perform an alternative work assignment or light duty.
As long as the doctor approves the worker of being able to handle an alternative assignment with safety in mind, then the injured worker can go back to work to carry out their job during their recovery.
The injured employee’s situation can then be monitored occasionally to ensure that the worker’s condition allows them to continue working.