Doctor's ReleaseQuestion: Will I get paid if my employer can't find a work assignment for me do to the doctor’s restrictions? Here is what happened.

I hurt my back last week while at work and went to the E.R. I just went to a follow-up appointment today. The doctor said I could go back to work but with strict restrictions. My employer can't find anything for me to do while these restrictions are in place, so I am off work for a week, or until the restrictions are lifted. Will I still get paid for the week I am off work since it's my employer NOT my doctor that is telling me I can't work?

Answer: Yes, the workers compensation insurance carrier will pay healing period benefits after you're out for 3 days; if you're out for more than 10 days they will make up the first three days you were out without pay. Now I can’t say a check will automatically appear in your mailbox, because not all insurance companies are on the ball. To make sure the wheels of justice are greased get a copy of the doctor’s release with restrictions and forward it to the workers’ compensation insurance adjuster along with a note saying the employer has no work available that fit the restrictions. This isn’t rocket science but I appreciate many workers aren’t normally letter writers so here is what you can write.

Dear [Workers’ Compensation Adjuster]: Dr. ______ released me to work with restrictions on [date]. My employer [employer’s name] has no available work that fits these restrictions. Please mail a weekly check for healing period to my home address: [home address]. If you have questions I can be reached at [phone number] or … please call my lawyer. The claim number of my case is: [add your claim number].

Very truly,

[Add your name]

Keep a copy for your records. If you have a lawyer just have them send this letter.

Don’t jump to conclusions you should be alright with continuing to receive weekly benefits.

Good luck and call us if we can help you with your claim. [email protected] or 515-222-1110


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Steve Lombardi
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Iowa personal injury, workers' compensation, motorcycle, quadriplegic, paraplegic, brain injury, death
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