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What are Activity Prescription Forms and why do I need one?

By September 8, 2021May 17th, 2023L & I
Someone signing activity prescription forms

When life gives you lemons

Have you ever suffered a workplace injury and struggled to get back to your everyday work activity? Even after your surgery or brief time off to recover, you may still feel that your employer should adjust to your physical limitations. If this is you, it’s time to look into an Activity Prescription Form.

What are Activity Prescription Forms?

Activity Prescription Forms, or APFs, are forms that doctors use to outline your physical restrictions from an industrial injury. For example, your doctor may set limits on the weight you can lift from the floor to your waist, your waist to your shoulders, and above your shoulders. Depending on your injury, your doctor may also limit the amount you can push and pull or the frequency and duration you can walk, stand, or sit.

So, why are Activity Prescription Forms important?

APFs are essential after a workplace injury because they’re the official document used to let the claim manager and your employer know whether you can return to work full-time, part-time, or at all.

If you can continue working with restrictions, you should always take a copy of this form to work, and if your employer asks you to do anything outside your limits, show them the form and tell them your doctor has restricted you from that task. It’s important you stand your ground in this situation. (We’ll explain why later.)

The dynamic duo: APFs and Work Status Forms

Here’s the unfortunate truth: if you can’t work due to your workplace injury, you will struggle to get time loss payments with an Activity Prescription Form alone. When you pair that form (your doctor’s certification of your restrictions) with a Work Status Form (your contention that you can’t work based on those restrictions) on a regular basis, and possibly an Affidavit for Time Loss at the beginning, then the time loss pay should (SHOULD) start rolling in.

We know it’s frustrating, but don’t quit your job. Seriously, don’t.

If your employer is asking you to do things above the restrictions in your APF, having a WSF joined with your APF could make all the difference. However, if you quit your job on the spot and then go back and fill out additional forms or seek legal help, it’s unlikely you will see your time loss payments again.

It all starts with a doctor’s appointment

Though your doctor fills out an APF, a Work Status Form is something you fill out independently. When you meet with your doctor to complete your APF, you’ll discuss all your conditions and symptoms during the visit. They will then adjust and modify the restrictions on the APF as needed. Your Work Status Form is something you’ll have to fill out regularly once time loss payments have started.

Psst, click here to access the Activity Prescription Form online.

Claims management

If your doctor has filled out an APF, you should be working with a claim manager that coordinates with your employer to assess any workplace modifications that will enable you to keep working. A claim manager should also be working with you to ensure your employer is keeping within the restrictions outlined for you by your doctor. The keyword in this paragraph is “SHOULD.” If your claim manager is not doing their job correctly, it’s time to call us.

Did you call for backup?

Struggling to get the support you need after a workplace injury can be very frustrating. We know things don’t always pan out like they should on paper, which is why we’re here to help.

The experienced workers’ compensation attorneys at Carlisle + Byers are here to assist you through every step of the legal process. Schedule a free consultation today!

Photo by Romain Dancre from Unsplash