The short answer is no. No one can force you to return to work but it can cause you problems with your Pa workers’ compensation case so you need to know your rights. If you get a Notice of Ability to Return to Work in the mail, it typically means that you are being released to work on light duty restrictions or in some cases a full duty with no restrictions. This is based on information that your employer/insurance company has received from an Independent Medical Evaluation doctor or your treating doctor. The Notice of Ability to Return to Work is only step one and your employer must still offer you a position within the restrictions outlined in the form but you have to respond to your employer.
A Notice of Ability to Return to Work is typically a precursor to your employer/insurance company preparing to start litigation. In fact, it is a requirement that the Notice of Ability to Return to Work be issued before a Petition is filed to Terminate, Modify or Suspend your workers’ compensation benefits. If you feel that you cannot return to work within the guidelines set forth in the Notice of Ability to Return to Work or it is based on the Independent Medical Evaluation doctor and your treating doctor hasn’t released you to work, then it is time to consult with your doctor and speak to an attorney about the impacts to your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
The time-frames to respond to job offers from the employer or disputing your employer’s claim that you can return to work in Court are short. It is always better to be prepared by knowing your workers’ compensation rights and ensuring that you have your doctor’s support, in case your employer or their insurance company files a Petition that will affect your Workers’ Compensation benefits.
If you have received a Notice of Ability to Return to Work LIBC-757 form and you don’t know what to do, please feel free to contact us and we will provide you with answers free of charge.