“Your biggest asset is not your house, it’s your ability to work”
James Cameron, LLB
Return-to-work, return-to-play, and return-to-learn are all terms used to describe returning to your life after a concussion. They are terms that your doctors, your employers and/or your educators will use to describe your concussion recovery and management. In this episode, we wanted to talk about how to return to work successfully, what kind of strategy might be needed and reached out to some experts. James Cameron and the folks at Raven Law have been a great resource for the team at Concussion Central so we brought them on the show.
David and James walk us through helping people with concussions return to work or enter long-term disability; he outlines the problems and mistakes he’s seen and explains how some well-timed legal advice can set up positive outcomes.
Returning to work shouldn’t be a frightening or frustrating process, and there are many ways to do it, but it’s crucial to consult ahead of your return. Even with the clearance from your treating physician, there are times, though, when you might need help explaining your concussion to your employer. It can often be challenging – to negotiate required accommodations when your symptoms may be almost invisible to others. A coherent strategy can help people with concussions get the right kind of workplace accommodation they need or help navigate the long-term disability application process.
Concussion Central would like to emphasize that choosing a lawyer is up to you. Mr. Cameron has some good advice; find a lawyer specializing in employment law and ideally with concussion experience. Ask your friends or family members who they would recommend.
Here are some statistics to start our conversation:
- In Ontario, over 150, 000 people, every year, are diagnosed with a concussion
- 50% of those people will return to work within 1 month
- 80% will return to work within 6 months
- 20% will be unable to return to work and will need help navigating their disability benefits.
Here are some Return-to-Work Considerations from the 3rd Edition of the Guidelines for Concussion/mTBI and Prolonged Symptoms (p. 67) that can help you, your doctor and your lawyer get you back to work.
Canadian Concussion Centre Webinar Series – Leslie Birkett: Return to Work Following Concussion (This is a webinar by Leslie Birkett, Occupational Therapist and Adjunct Professor at McMaster University.)
More information about:
James Cameron, LLB
James Cameron is a partner at Raven Law and has been in practice for over twenty-five years. He’s provided sound advice, effective negotiation strategies, and competent representation to clients concerning labour relations, employment law, long-term disability claims, and human rights matters.
Thank you to Raven Law LLP for supporting this episode of the Concussion Central Audio Guide.