Workers’ compensation benefits are a key form of support for someone hurt on the job or coping with a work-related medical issue. Not everyone has private insurance or paid time-off benefits from their employers, so missing work or requiring medical attention could lead to significant financial hardship.
Workers’ compensation insurance will provide more thorough medical coverage than private health insurance usually does and can also help replace someone’s lost wages through disability benefits. Despite how helpful workers’ compensation can be, there are also limits to what an injured worker can expect during a benefits claim in Minnesota.
Despite the promise of full medical coverage, not all treatment you may require automatically qualifies for coverage. How long will workers’ compensation continue to cover your treatment and care costs?
Until you reach maximum medical improvement
When it comes to intensive interventions, like surgery and physical therapy, a doctor must agree that you require such care and that it will likely improve your condition. Workers’ compensation will cover any treatment that is necessary for your long-term recovery or to control symptoms of a chronic or long-term condition.
For many injuries, like back injuries, there is a point at which additional treatments will have minimal positive impact. Someone who has improved to a certain point could continue to undergo treatment but would likely see diminishing returns on continued investments in their medical care. Once someone has achieved maximum medical improvement as established by the physician overseeing their care, most intensive medical care coverage will end.
Workers can still receive benefits for ongoing support needs, like a prescription that they will need to continue taking indefinitely. However, future treatments that are unlikely to make a major impact on their condition will no longer qualify for coverage.
What if symptoms worsen?
Some people improve temporarily and then experience recurring or worsening symptoms. Workers’ compensation benefits can restart for someone who improved and then has new symptoms related to a job-acquired medical condition.
In theory, recurring symptoms related to your initial diagnosis will qualify for benefits indefinitely. Sometimes, there may be a disagreement between a claimant and the physician overseeing their care about whether treatment is truly necessary or if improvement is likely. Learning more about the basics of workers’ compensation benefits in Minnesota will help you handle your claim more effectively.