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Balancing your career and a temporary disability

You may worry about the stability of your job when you experience an injury that prevents you from performing at work. Even if you receive temporary disability assistance, the uncertainty of whether or not your employer will let you go may cause ongoing stress.

Knowing how to balance your career while also allowing yourself enough time to recover from an injury may help you strategize your next steps. With the right support, a temporary disability does not have to jeopardize your job.

Communicate with your employer

As soon as you receive adequate medical attention for your injuries, reach out to your employer and inform them of your situation. According to the California Department of Industrial Relations, support in the form of temporary disability payments generally come after an overnight hospitalization or when your recovery prevents you from working for more than three days.

When you speak with your employer, express your desire to maintain your job despite the circumstances. Provide evidence of your injuries and information from your doctor that substantiates your timeline for recovery. An attorney can help you assess what conditions you must meet to qualify for and maintain disability benefits.

Stay on top of your skills

Even if you cannot perform your job for a period of time, do your best to maintain your skills. Research best practices in your industry and brush up on critical skills you need for your job. You may consider asking your employer about the possibility of a modified list of responsibilities so you can return to work at the earliest possible time.

When you do reach a point where you can reasonably return to work, use caution in your transition back. Refrain from overextending yourself and carefully follow the instructions from your medical provider. If your employer discriminates because of your disability or refuses to give you a job back, you may want to file a discrimination lawsuit. A temporary disability should never rob you of the chance to have a successful career.