How Long Can I Receive Medical Treatment in Workers’ Comp?
A workplace injury can be stressful enough without having to worry about whether your medical bills will be covered until you hear completely. One of the most important employee benefits is medical treatment in workers’ comp.
If you have been injured on the job, you may be concerned that the insurance company will stop paying for your treatment before you are fully healed. In most states, your employer must provide medical payments until the doctor has released you completely from care, indicating that you are completely healed.
Medical Treatment in Workers’ Comp
In Pennsylvania and Delaware, there is no limit on how long you can receive payment for medical treatment. However, in Pennsylvania, an employer can file what is known as a utilization review that challenges whether medical treatment is reasonable or necessary.
In New Jersey, there is no limit to medical treatment as long as it is reasonable and necessary. However, if your doctor determines you have reached maximum medical improvement, which means additional treatment will not improve your condition, you may be required to return to work.
You may be required to use a physician designated by your employer in New Jersey and, in some instances, Pennsylvania. In Delaware, an employer cannot require you to see a specific healthcare provider.
The Effect of Returning to Work
If your injury heals enough that you can return to work and you receive wages that are equal to what you were making prior to the injury, workers’ compensation will stop. If your wages are less than what you were making prior to your injury, you may still be entitled to compensation in order to make up the difference between the two salaries.
Workers’ compensation, unlike the Family Medical Leave Act, does not require your employer to return you to the same position after you return to work.
- In Delaware, if you are forced to return to a lower paying job, you may be eligible for Loss of Earning Capacity benefits.
- In Pennsylvania, the state offers training for employers in “Return-to-Work” programs designed to coordinate healthcare services, vocational rehabilitation and claims development in order to bring an injured worker back to the company at the same salary they were making prior to the accident.
- In New Jersey, if your injuries prevent you from performing your former job duties after a workplace injury or if you are designated with maximum medical improvement, but you still cannot perform your regular duties, your employer is required to provide you with vocational rehabilitation in New Jersey.
Protect Your Right to Seek Medical Care
As soon as possible, seek medical treatment for your workplace injury. Medical treatment in workers’ comp cases is critical as your doctor will document your injury, explain the treatment process and provide you with information that will demonstrate to your employer that this was an injury on the job. By seeking medical attention immediately, you demonstrate that your injury was job related which may make it easier to protect your right to medical care later.
If you or a loved one was injured on the job, you have a right to have your employer provide payment for your medical treatment under workers’ compensation. Contact Lundy Law today in order to begin the steps necessary to get your medical bills paid and obtain any lost wages you are entitled to under workers’ compensation. Schedule your initial consultation online with our easy form or give us a call at 1-800-Lundy Law.