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​Experienced ILLINOIS Workers’ Compensation Lawyers
& CHICAGO Injury Lawyers

Temporary Return to Work for Injured City of Chicago Employees

Chicago Lawyers for Claims Arising from Accidents On the Job

There are many dangerous and physically strenuous jobs with the City of Chicago. After an injury on the job working for the City of Chicago, you may face uncertainty or disagreements with the City about when you can return to work. The City is self-insured, which means they don’t pay premiums to a workers’ compensation insurance company to pay claims. You may be asked by the City of Chicago to get an independent medical exam (IME) because the City wants you to come back to work. You shouldn’t let the name of the exam fool you. Often employers choose doctors they know are typically conservative in their treatments and diagnoses. This helps save money on claims. If the IME doctor says you should go back to work, you may need to return. However, there are certain rules surrounding a temporary return to work for injured City of Chicago employees and others, and you should be aware of them. The experienced Chicago workers’ compensation attorneys of Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca can guide you through the legal process related to your benefits.

Temporary Return to Work for Injured City of Chicago Employees

If you are injured on the job in Chicago and are out on temporary disability, disagreements may arise at some point about whether you can return to work or not. Your employer is allowed to rely on the findings of the IME doctor and can require you to come back to work. If you don’t go back, the employer can stop paying temporary total disability benefits. Or you may believe you are doing better and ask if you can voluntarily return to the job.

If you go back to the job, you may have restrictions. When you return to work temporarily, you should look into the restrictions your doctor has in place in order for you to go back. It’s illegal for an employer to retaliate against you for following your doctor’s orders. You should be able to get accommodations for your limitations when doing your job. The employer is supposed to give you work that meets the limits mandated by the doctor. If it can’t give you work like that, you are entitled to continue getting temporary total disability benefits.

What if you go back to work and you can’t do your job after all? You should notify your supervisor that your injury stops you from being able to do your job, with or without restrictions. You should go see a doctor to discuss your inability to work. You should be able to get temporary total benefits again.

Section 19(b)

After being ordered to work, you may truly believe you’re not ready to return to work. You can use Section 19(b) to have an arbitrator conduct a trial about whether you are capable of going back to work or not, given your disability. The 19(b) petition is a way to immediately, or relatively quickly, get to court. The process of getting to trial is about 60 days. Both the employer and you will have a chance to appeal a negative determination. During this period, you may not receive temporary total disability benefits, which can make this petition risky for some. Furthermore, permanent disability benefits won’t be determined through this procedure.

Retain a Seasoned Chicago Attorney for Your Workers’ Compensation Claim

You may find yourself unable to work once you’re released to work and actually get to the workplace. It’s not always apparent to doctors what a worker is able to do on the job for the City of Chicago until after they return to work and have been back at work for a couple of days to see their own limitations. If you are concerned about a temporary return to work as an injured City of Chicago employee, you can talk to a lawyer regarding your rights. At Katz, Friedman, Eisenstein, Johnson, Bareck & Bertuca, we represent workers in Aurora, Rockford, Champaign, and Quincy, as well as Cook, Sangamon, Winnebago, Adams, and Kane Counties. We look closely at our clients’ cases to determine whether there are other forms of relief available in addition to workers’ compensation. Contact us at 312-724-5846 or by completing our online form.