At times, work-related injuries can be very serious and necessitate that the employee takes some time off from work, though certain injuries are not as serious and do not impact the worker’s job performance.
For instance, a worker could end up with a foot injury while at the work place, yet their job only requires the use of the worker’s hands and intellect.
Should I Take Time Off For Work Injury in Harris 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.
In some cases, employees with work-related injuries that does not impact their job performance will not report their injury to their employer, because they do not see a point in seeking workers’ compensation, or have the assumption that their work-related injury isn’t qualifying due to the fact that it doesn’t affect their ability to perform their job.
Instead, the injured worker will just seek medical help through their health insurance provider, and relinquish their opportunity to receive workers’ compensation.
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.
Texas strongly suggests that employers take an active approach towards executing Return to Work Programs for injured employees.
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.
- Getting the injured employee back into the workforce as quickly as possible
- Sustains the injured worker’s engagement in their job
- Preserves employee morale
- Provides the injured employees with wages
- Lessens any kind of social benefits (welfare, disability benefits, etc.) that the injured worker might have to utilize during their recovery period; and
- Maintains that the injured worker has taxable income.
Getting Medical Benefits Through Workers’ Compensation
If an employee is able to keep on working regardless of their work-related injury or illness, the employee will not necessarily need income benefits through workers’ compensation due to the fact that the employee is still able to do their job, or the possibility of an alternative work assignment for pay.
Though even if a work-related injury or ailment does not have the worker take time off from their workplace, that doesn’t mean to say that locating medical treatment for the injury hasn’t costed the injured employee money.
An injured worker can still recover workers’ compensation benefits to cover hospital bills, even if they don’t need to take time off from work.
However, an injured worker that does not need to preserve their income, does not need to apply for income benefits, this way injured workers who truly need income benefits will be able to apply through the Texas workers’ compensation system.
Injured employees in Texas need to only take the proper amount of time to seek the medical care they need to recover from their work-related injury or ailment.
In the event that an employee takes off more time than needed, they could end up risking termination or having their workers’ compensation claim denied.
Injured Workers Should Discuss Their Options With Their Employers
People usually don’t want to be away from their job, due to the fact that they feel helpless and useless if they’re not there.
In the event that a worker is injured at work, they should take to their employer if they believe they can still work in some capacity.
Sometimes all it takes is a conversation between the employee and the employer that will make the employer find ways that the injured employee could still perform their job while recovering.
In order to make sure that the employee is still engaged with their work and earning an income while recovering from their injury, the employer can find alternative work assignments or a “light duty” version of the employee’s job.
Sometimes, in order for the worker to perform alternative work assignment, the employer will require clearing from a designated doctor to ensure the safety of the individual.
If the doctor decides that the worker is capable of taking on the alternative assignment without making the injured worker’s injury worse, then the worker may return to work during their recovery period.
The injured employee’s situation can then be monitored occasionally to ensure that the worker’s condition allows them to continue working.