Q: I injured my back at work and was placed on light duty then sent to a spinal specialist who stated my injury may take
longer to heal. The Occ. Health MD stated that I could use my FMLA benefits for a LOA and then return on light duty afterwards. Can I use my FMLA as a separate benefit and then return to complete the light duty time (only 5 weeks left) without repercussions? Or must I use them together meaning I still have only 5 weeks to "heal" or I may lose my job?
A: You are able to utilize FMLA Benefits in conjunction with Workers Compensation Benefits for the initial 12 weeks of your period of Disability. If you are able to return to work within the 12 week period of time your Employer is required to provide you with similar employment to your pre-injury job.
If it is your work-related injury which is causing you to be disabled, you would be entitled to wage loss benefits, rather than just a Leave of Absence.
It is my recommendation that you promptly contact an Attorney who is a Certified Specialist in Pennsylvania Workers Compensation Law to discuss your rights and remedies. The initial consultation would be free of charge and most Attorneys will accept your Case on a Contingent Fee Basis.
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