Worker’s Compensation is insurance coverage, paid by your employer at no cost to you, for work-related injuries and illnesses. This insurance pays for reasonably necessary medical treatment, if you are injured on the job. Many clients ask whether prescription drugs and workers comp go hand in hand. Each state has its own workers compensation laws. But, most states provide coverage for medication.
What types of workers comp benefits are provided in Missouri and Arkansas?
The medical benefits provided by worker’s compensation insurance are typically the same: all reasonably necessary medical care related to your on-the-job injury or illness. In both Missouri and Arkansas, this includes:
- visits to an approved health care provider
- hospital care
- physical therapy
- prescription drugs
- braces and crutches
- other medical supplies when ordered by your approved physician
Receiving proper medical treatment is critical. Many workplace injuries can be debilitating, causing pain and physical limitations that require extensive and continuous treatment. However, make sure you follow your employer’s instructions regarding making worker’s compensation claims, in order to protect your eligibility and benefits.
What to do if you have suffered a job-related injury
If you are eligible for workers comp, and you reported your injury to your employer, then your benefits should cover your medical expenses. However, before being treated, be sure to obtain the approval of your employer’s workers’ compensation carrier. Your employer or its workers’ compensation insurance carrier has the right to choose which physician will provide your treatment. You are not responsible for the doctor bills only if the insurance carrier approves the particular physician you are seeing. If you see a physician who is not approved, you may be responsible for the bill.
Compliance is important to receive all of your benefits
In order to receive your benefits, you have to see the chosen by your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance carrier. However, that is not the end of your obligation. You must also do everything possible to cooperate with your employer and its workers’ compensation carrier. Otherwise, your benefits may be delayed, or even terminated. Timely complete all workers’ compensation forms requested of you. Keep all of your appointments with the physician. If, for some reason, you are not satisfied with that physician, you can ask for approval of another one.
Why is workers comp necessary?
There are many jobs out there that are inherently dangerous, such as construction work, grounds maintenance, electrical maintenance and installation, etc. Likewise, there are jobs that cause illnesses due to exposure to toxins or poisons, for example. If your state requires your employer to maintain worker’s compensation insurance, then you will be have the right to file a claim for payment of your medical expenses, through that insurance carrier, at no cost to you.
There are some exceptions to coverage, though. In some situations, an employee may not be covered, even if an injury occurred on the employer’s premises. An example of this would be, if an employee is injured while under the influence of alcohol or drugs or while committing a crime. That claim would be rejected, as would a claim for a self-inflicted injury.
If you have questions regarding worker’s compensation benefits, or any other workers’ compensation issues, call the Cottrell Law Office at (888) 433-4861.
He is licensed to practice law in the United States District Court for the District of Kansas, eastern Arkansas, western Arkansas, and western Missouri. He was Deputy Prosecuting Attorney in Crawford County, Kansas from 1987-1989.
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