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A Job Offer You Cannot Refuse

If you have been hurt on the job and are no longer able to work at your previous job, you may be eligible for several benefits. The workers' compensation company your employer uses will sometimes offer permanently disabled workers a lump-sum settlement but along with that offer can come an unexpected one — a job offer. Read on to learn more about suitable job offers and how to protect your interests if you have a permanent injury.

Common Disability Support

If you are deemed to be permanently disabled by the workers' compensation carrier for your employer (which is also known as being at maximum medical improvement), you may be eligible for benefits from both the workers' comp carrier and the government. In many cases, your local government and non-profit agencies might provide services like counseling, job training, resume and job search help, and more. On the part of the workers' comp agency, you will probably be offered a settlement. This settlement, however, may come with the condition that you are placed in what they call a suitable job. When a suitable job is part of the settlement, it usually means that the worker is able to do some type of work.

Requirements for Suitable Jobs

Fortunately, the workers' comp carrier cannot force you into jobs that are not suitable. The job must meet certain requirements. Some of those include:

  • It must be within an appropriate commuting distance.
  • It should take into consideration the workers' permanent disability.
  • The disabled worker must be able to perform the job using their training or experience.
  • It should be in the same or similar field as the previous job.

When You Disagree With the Workers' Comp Carrier

Hurt workers are advised to seek legal advice before they agree to a workers' comp settlement. These settlements can be complex and a lot is riding on the final settlement agreement. Workers' compensation lawyers understand how these settlements work and can negotiate on the worker's behalf to ensure that it's fair and fully inclusive of all benefits. If a suitable job is part of the settlement, the lawyer will work to make sure the job really is suitable for the worker.

If you are only now realizing that you should have consulted with an attorney before you signed the agreement, it may or may not be too late to act. Workers' compensation laws vary by the state and some of them allow workers to file appeals and to reopen cases in certain circumstances. Don't settle for what the insurer is trying to foist on you. Speak to a workers' compensation lawyer — even if you think it's too late.