Returning to Work with a Partial Disability

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If your doctor has cleared you to return to work with a partial disability you may be eligible for Temporary Partial Disability Benefits (TPD). Here are some things you need to know about TPD before returning to work according to the Florida Department of Financial Services.

First, your treating physician is the only person who can clear you for work, or keep you in a non-work status. If your physician clears you for work, even if you don’t feel you are ready, you must make a good faith effort to return to work. If you fail to return to work you may forfeit your eligibility to receive TPD benefits. However, it is possible to seek a second opinion, independent medical evaluation, or one-time change of doctor as long as you are working while you pursue these options. If you decide not to work while seeking further medical advice, you must have your new doctor address your work status back to the day you were originally cleared to work. If your new doctor cannot or will not do this, you may lose benefits for that time.

If you are cleared to return to work for light or restricted duty, you must make an effort to return to work. Only your employer can decide that there is no light duty position available. If your employer sends you home ensure that they report this to their worker’s compensation insurance carrier, or if possible call them yourself. Similarly, if your employer is not following the restrictions put in place by your doctor you should contact your doctor, as well as your employer’s workers compensation insurance carrier.

If you believe that even with the restrictions put in place by your doctor working is aggravating your injury you must return to your treating physician to be reevaluated. Your doctor may choose to adjust your work restrictions, keep you from work entirely, or they may not make any changes at all. If your physician does not adjust your work restrictions you must return to work or risk forfeiting your claim. You may want to request a second opinion, one-time change of doctor, or independent medical evaluation if you believe your doctor’s orders to be in error.

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