Workers' Comp Medical Benefits FAQs: What You Need To Know

Workers’ Comp Medical Benefits FAQs: What You Need To Know

How your expenses and treatment are covered for a workplace injury and what to do if your employer gives you the run around

Many injured workers don’t realize that their Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits cover all of their expenses for treatment for their injuries. Below, you’ll find helpful advice about receiving these important benefits.

For help from one of our attorneys now, call (855) 221-2667, or you can fill out our contact form for a free consultation. There’s no cost or obligation, and we can ensure that your expenses and treatment are covered.

Q. What workplace injury benefits can I receive?

A. If you are injured in the course and scope of your employment, you are entitled to specific benefits, including lost wages,  treatment and vocational rehabilitation.

Workers compensation is a compromise between employee and employer interests. You don’t have to prove negligence to get compensated, but you are limited in what benefits you can receive.

Pain and suffering is not available under Michigan law. This might seem like an unfair system, but the amount of benefits paid for your workplace injury can be substantial.

Q. Who pays for my care if I’m hurt at work?

A. Access to care and treatment through Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits is one of the most important benefits after suffering a workplace injury. Your employer or its insurance company is responsible for paying all reasonable and necessary treatment for your work-related injury.

Q. How long do my Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits last?

A. Treatment for a workplace injury is unlimited and can be paid for life.

Q. What kind of care is covered under Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits?

A. Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits cover visits to the doctor, surgery, hospital stays, prescription medication and physical therapy. It can also include dental care, prosthetics, eyeglasses, hearing aids, wheelchairs and other appliances necessary to cure or relieve the effects of your work injury.

Whatever medical care is reasonable and necessary is covered for your workplace injury.

Q. What if my home or car needs to be modified because of my work injury?

A. With you workplace injury benefits, you can even get home and automobile modifications. These are changes to your home and/or vehicle to accommodate your injury or disability.

Sometimes it’s cheaper for an insurance company to purchase a new home for you that is handicap accessible than modify your existing residence. But the law only requires changes to a vehicle, rather than purchasing a new vehicle.

Q. What if I cannot take care of myself because of my injury?

A. Some people are so badly injured at work that they cannot care for themselves. When that situation arises, your workplace injury benefits provide attendant care. With attendant care (also called nursing services), your employer or its insurance company must pay the cost of a professional nurse or a semiskilled attendant to help you with activities of daily living. This could include wound care, help with mobility, bathing, using the bathroom, eating, dressing and taking medications.

You will usually need to have a prescription for attendant care written by your doctor to receive this benefit.

Your family members can receive pay for up to 56 hours per week for providing attendant care. A spouse, brother, sister, child, parent or any combination of these people can receive payment directly from workers’ compensation. A family member is generally entitled to the same hourly rate as a professional and should be paid accordingly. If you need more than 56 hours, your benefits cover payment for a professional.

Q. Do Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits cover occupational diseases?

A. Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits also covers occupational diseases. These are illnesses that are directly related to your work. Treatment is available for injuries caused by repetitive work activities, exposure to chemicals, or from repeated bending and lifting.

Q. What if my employer tells me to use my own health insurance?

A. Many employers will refuse to take responsibility for an injury and tell you to use your own health insurance. This is not correct and can cost you significant money in the form of deductibles and co-pays.

You should not owe any money for treatment for your workplace injury.

If you are being told that you must use your own insurance for your at-work injury, it’s important that you contact a lawyer to discuss your rights. Call us at (855) 221-2667.

Q. Can I choose my own doctor?

A. Under the Michigan law, employers are given sole authority to select the  provider for treatment during the first 10 days after your injury.

After 10 days from the commencement of treatment, you have the right to choose your own doctor.

Your employer can recommend a doctor, but you have the right to choose for yourself. Be careful treating with doctors recommended by your employer or the insurance company because of a potential conflict of interest. You want a doctor who has your best interest in mind.

Q. What if my employer/insurance company disputes my treatment expenses?

A. Employers or insurance companies will often dispute what is reasonable and necessary treatment. They may tell you that your injury is not work-related or that you do not need any more care.

Know that you cannot be forced to follow a specific plan of treatment or to use their doctors. If your employer or insurance company is giving you a hard time about covering your work-related injury expenses, it’s best to call an experienced lawyer to protect your rights.

Q. Why have I been assigned a nurse case manager?

A. The law states that a nurse case manager is hired by your employer or insurance company to help you get better. But this is not always the case. These nurse case managers are really hired to control treatment costs for the insurance companies.

Nurse case managers are usually not on your side, and they will try to control your treatment.

You have the right to privacy in the examination room and to let your doctor make appropriate decisions about your treatment.

Have more questions about your workers’ comp medical benefits?

Even if you’re currently being paid Michigan workers’ comp medical benefits, it’s always a good idea to have your claim reviewed. Our lawyers can make sure you’re receiving the all of the benefits you’re entitled to under the law, and we can protect you when your employer or insurance company does not have your best interest in mind.

Call us at (855) 221-2667, or fill out our contact form for a free consultation. The call is free and the advice is free.

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