Independent Medical Examinations are frequent in workers compensation cases in Pennsylvania. Just a few quick words about an IME. First, they are not ‘independent’ exams. These are exams scheduled by the workers’ compensation insurance carrier, with a doctor they choose, and scheduled most often for very specific reasons. Those reasons may include attempt to get a full recovery opinion, to deny medical treatment, or to return the injured worker back to work. You can read more about IMEs right here.…
A Notice of Ability to Return to work in a standard form in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation claims. I get calls from clients and potential clients that are concerned about receiving this form. So what is this form and what does it mean?
First, this form is prescribed by Section 306(b)(3) of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act. The form essentially provides to you notification that the insurance carrier has received medical evidence that indicates your ability to return to work. Ability is italicized above because it means that the insurance carrier has received work restrictions or a change in restrictions for your condition, it does not mean you have to return to work. In some cases, an injured worker receives the form and is already back working in light duty, further compounding the confusion.
Essentially, you should view the Notice as an informational notification, rather than a notification that requires action. However, and I caution, DO NOT take the form lightly. It could be indicative that the insurance carrier may be preparing to attempt to modify or suspend workers’ compensation benefits. (more…)