What Can I Do While on Workers’ Compensation?

Disabled Man at Airport

After a workplace accident, there are usually a lot of questions and uncertainties around the severity of your injury, the amount of payouts benefits you are likely to receive, or even wonder what activities you are allowed to do or participate in while receiving those benefits. Questions we most often hear at Erwin, McCane & Daly include:

  • Can I go to the grocery store?
  • Can I drive?
  • Should I cancel my vacation?
  • Can I watch my grandkid(s)?
  • Can I mow my lawn?

Because each case, injury, and situation is different, it is advised that each worker use his or her own best judgment while making these decisions and pursue normal activities as much as the condition allows. Additionally, an injured worker’s activity should stay consistent with the doctor’s restrictions and advisements. There is a difference between a temporary total disability and a partial disability. This is why talking to your doctor about limitations and restrictions is advisable.

Temporary Total Disability:

For example, if the medical provider has stated that the injured worker has a temporary total disability; it would not be advisable to partake in activities such as mowing the lawn, shoveling snow, or any recreational activity. However, if you have a vacation already scheduled, and you’ve been advised to spend time recuperating, it may be possible to still take that vacation and spend it relaxing. Workers’ compensation claimants who decide to go on vacation should consider the following when deciding to go on vacation while receiving benefits: If you perform activities on vacation that you are supposed to avoid based on a doctor’s recommendation, you risk losing your workers’ compensation claim. You should discuss this with your doctor and lawyer, and it is not advised to skip or miss any appointments due to a vacation.

Partial Disability:

If the medical provider suggests a degree of partial disability, it is very important to understand the exact restrictions recommended by the doctor. The attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly recommend individuals receiving workers’ comp obtain written restrictions from their doctor so that misunderstandings are avoided. For a doctor to give an accurate assessment and diagnosis, you are encouraged to be candid with the medical professional and not exaggerate or downplay the injury or disability. Throughout the process, it will be ideal to receive documentation. This will show evidence of progress that has been made as well as activities that are recommended (or not) by your doctor. This is your workers’ compensation case; you are entitled to documentation throughout.

For more information about workers’ compensation including filing a claim, medical treatment guidelines, and appealing a denied claim, contact the attorneys of Erwin, McCane & Daly today.