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Study: Many injured workers don't return to work

The Workers Compensation Research Institute recently released the results of a multiyear study on how many injured workers are able to return to work. The WCRI interviewed injured workers in six states in 2016 and nine states, including Pennsylvania, from 2013 to 2015.

The interviews of injured workers addressed such things as their physical health and the level of function they were able to get back, the recovery of their earnings, access to and satisfaction with the medical care they received and their return to work, if applicable.

According to the in-house counsel and the executive vice president of WCRI, with the information about the outcome of injured workers, it becomes easier for legislators and other policymakers to see just how different workers' compensation systems are in various states. It also allows them to identify ways to improve workers' compensation systems in their states. Here are some of the findings:

-- Indiana: Three years after being injured, 10 percent of workers who missed over seven days of work did not return to work for at least one month. Eleven percent did not have a "substantial return to work" within 12 months of their injuries.

-- Wisconsin: Three years after being injured, 12 percent of workers who missed over seven days did not return to work for at least a month. Thirteen percent did not have a "substantial return to work" within 12 months of their injuries.

In Pennsylvania, it was found that workers reported outcomes that fell in the middle of the outcomes in other states. However, one big exception was that fewer workers reported "big problems" with getting access to the services they wanted.

If you or a loved one has been injured at work, you do have a right to seek workers' compensation. This can provide for your medical treatment, lost wages, partial and total disability and more. If your claim is denied, an attorney can help you prepare your appeal.

Source: benefitspro.com, "Injured workers across 15 states never get substantial return to work," Marlene Y. Satter, June 23, 2017

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