Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
Local : 412-567-6650
Toll Free : 866-974-0915

NOTICE OF ABILITY TO RETURN TO WORK: CONSIDER IT A WARNING

You have been receiving workers' compensation benefits and receive a form in the mail stating, "Notice of Ability to Return to Work."  What does it mean, and what should you do?

The workers' compensation insurance company sent you the Notice of Ability to Return to Work because it is required to notify you any time it receives medical evidence you are able to return to work in some capacity. (see 77 P.S. ยง512(3)).  The insurance company may have received that medical evidence from your own physician or a physician who examined you at the request of the insurance company.  Usually, that medical evidence is attached to or enclosed with the Notice of Ability to Return to Work.

By itself, the Notice of Ability to Return to Work does not have any immediate effect on your workers' compensation benefits.  The Notice of Ability to Return to Work does not mean the insurance company will immediately stop paying your wage loss benefits.  Also, the Notice of Ability to Return to Work does not necessarily mean your employer has offered you a job or that you must report to work.

The Notice of Ability to Return to Work, however, usually is a sign your employer and its insurance company soon will begin the process of trying to modify, suspend, or terminate your benefits.  Therefore, the Notice of Ability to Return to Work is really telling you to do the following: "Contact an attorney immediately to help you obtain and prepare whatever evidence you may need to defend yourself in the near future."

The Notice of Ability to Return to Work specifically states, "You have an obligation to look for available employment."  Your failure to do so may affect your right to future benefits, depending on the circumstances.  Whether you have looked for employment is a factor a workers' compensation judge may consider if the insurance company seeks a suspension of your benefits because it believes you have voluntarily withdrawn from the workforce.  (See City of Pittsburgh v. WCAB (Robinson), 67 A.3d 1194 (Pa. 2013); Keene v. WCAB (Ogden Corp.), 92 A.3d 897 (Pa. Commw. 2014)).

If you recently received a Notice of Ability to Return to Work or have any further questions regarding it, do not hesitate to call our law firm at 412-288-6000 for a free consultation.

Meet Our Attorneys

Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
3204 Grant Building
310 Grant Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15219

Toll Free: 866-974-0915
Phone: 412-567-6650
Fax: 412-288-6010
Map & Directions

Joshua M. Bloom & Associates, P.C.
Back To Top