With more and more workers receiving pink slips as a result of the continuing economic downturn, workers who had been receiving workers’ compensation benefits due to a work injury before they returned to work, may be be entitled to a reinstatement of wage loss benefits in certain circumstances. Here are some examples:You return to work after a work injury to your pre-injury job with no restrictions. Where an employee returns to work under a suspension, without restriction, to his or her pre-injury job, is later laid off, and then petitions for reinstatement, the employee has the burden to affirmatively establish that it is the work related injury that is causing his or her present loss of earnings.
Where the employee returns to work with restrictions, following a layoff, the employee is entitled to the presumption that the disability is causally related to the continuing work injury. Once the employee establishes the causal connection between the loss of earning power and the original injury, either through a presumption or affirmative proof, the employee is entitled to a reinstatement of benefits unless the employer provides available work with the employee’s restrictions or demonstrates that the employee’s present loss of earning power is due to factors unrelated to the work related injury.