When you’ve been injured on the job, the path back to work can be complex, upsetting and bewildering. After all, you’ve been injured, you’re in pain and are threatened with a loss of function and strength. Your primary focus is naturally on returning to health. That’s why it’s important to have the right advice and guidance as you strive to return to work after a job-related injury
A DOL doctor, one certified by the Department of Labor, is an invaluable asset as you negotiate not only your physical recovery but also the paperwork, restrictions and laws related to your injury and return to work.
Receiving Proper Benefits from the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA)
This act provides federal employees with job protection and financial benefits to help them return to work after an on-the-job injury. Under this act, you have the right to choose your own medical provider. Working with a doctor or medical clinic already familiar with your rights under this act and the complexities of filing claims is a huge advantage. While you are concerned about your job, your family and your injury, you don’t also have to worry about meeting every claims requirement to receive the benefits you need.
Light Duty, Part-Time Work, Transitional or Alternative Work
Most people enjoy the freedom that injury-free health gives them. It can be extremely difficult to scale back one’s activities to those required by either your doctor or your injury. But these restrictions must be respected to give your body time to heal fully. In many cases, this is the only way you will ever recover 100% of the function available to you, post-injury.
If your doctor directs light duty, part-time work, transitional or alternative work, it’s best to not fight these directions. Adjusting your thinking and expectations to the type of work recommended by your DOL doctor protects the healing process. You may feel you can do more or work longer hours only to realize after the fact that you’ve done too much.
What to Do After You are Injured
Immediately after an injury, your best move is to find a DOL-approved doctor or clinic with all the therapies you need to return to work. Most people need more than one therapy to recover all the function available to them. For example, a fractured ankle or shoulder injury requires more than immobilization and rest for recovery. There are now many adjunctive therapies such as stem cells, physical therapy, chiropractic and massage that can help complete the recovery. A clinic with intimate knowledge of the return-to-work policies and regulations is your best choice to enable you to gain the full benefits you are entitled to.
In the Houston area, there are more than 30,000 federal employees. We are proud to support these employees as they execute their duties for the U.S. Postal Service, NASA, TSA, Department of Defense, Homeland Security and dozens of other agencies.