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In Pennsylvania Workers Comp, What Happens if I Have Permanent Work Restrictions?

Health Care Work Related Injuries

Permanent work restrictions are an unfortunately reality for many injured workers in Pennsylvania.  They usually are provided by the injured worker’s treating physician and provided after some type of surgery.  What permanent work restrictions means is that your doctor does not believe you can perform unrestricted work any longer due to the work injury.

What are permanent work restrictions?

In most cases, permanent work restrictions mean that the doctor is unwilling to return the injured worker to the full duty job they were doing when they were injured.  It is not always the case.  Sometimes the permanent restrictions meet the pre-injury job requirements.  That is less common.   By way of example, permanent work restrictions may include things like weight restrictions, such as, the patient can’t lift over 10 pounds, may include functional limitations, such as, no bending and twisting or lifting above shoulder height, or something like, no use of heavy machinery.  These are just a few examples.

What typically happens when an injured work receives permanent work restrictions?

Typically, if the employer is willing, they may offer the injured worker a lighter duty job on a permanent basis.  Other times, the employer and the insurance carrier may seek an ‘independent medical examination’ to potentially refute the permanent work restrictions.  You can read more about IME exams right here.  In those cases, if the IME doctor disagrees and believes the injured worker can return to full duty, the employer will offer the injured worker their full duty job, and since the injured worker is unable to return due to permanent work restrictions, the employer will then file a Suspension or Termination Petition based on the IME opinion.  The claim will then enter litigation.  At that point, the injured worker’s benefits are threatened and the injured worker should seek legal counsel immediately.  These are you typical two scenarios.  Additionally, permanent work restrictions may also trigger an insurance carrier to pursue potential settlement with the injured worker.  Make sure you do not settle your case without talking to an experience workers compensation attorney.  You can read here on why that is important.  There are others, such as Impairment Ratings and Vocation Evaluations, but we will cover those later.

What should I do if I receive permanent work restrictions?

Once a workers compensation insurance carrier receives permanent work restrictions, they will get an IME scheduled. Permanent work restrictions most of the time will lead to litigation. Permanent work restrictions can also lead to opportunities to limit workers’ compensation benefits.  Don’t wait to get help.  If you have permanent work restrictions, call Mooney Law today for an absolutely FREE phone or in-office consultation.  Mooney Law fights for and protects injured worker benefits.  We have recovered millions of dollars in benefits for injured workers throughout Pennsylvania.  Call today at 833-MOONEYLAW or 717-200-HELP. 

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