Those who develop a work-related medical issue will face several kinds of potential financial hardship. They will require costly medical care and may have to miss work until they recover. Even if they can work, they may have to perform different job responsibilities, which might reduce how much they earn.
Medical benefits are often the most expensive aspect of a workers’ compensation claim in California. Employees who develop medical conditions because of their job responsibilities can claim medical benefits and connect with 100% coverage for approved medical expenses.
There are three common scenarios in which your personal primary care physician could play an important role in your workers’ compensation claim. When does the doctor you see for an annual physical influence your workers’ compensation case?
When you predesignated them for your care
Some workers can see their own physician for all of their care and treatment because they predesignated their own doctor for care. They will need to submit paperwork to their employer before the injury occurs to make use of this right.
When they diagnose you with a work-related condition
Some workers get hurt in an incident on the job: Someone dropped a heavy box on their foot, breaking their toes, or a tool shorts out, causing an electrical injury. These workers will have employer and insurance company input from the first moments of their workers’ compensation claim.
Others will realize they need workers’ compensation benefits because of a discussion with their primary care physician. If you have cumulative trauma, like carpal tunnel syndrome, you may develop debilitating symptoms that affect your ability to do your job and your daily quality of life. You may see your doctor to discuss the symptoms, and their diagnosis may be the starting point for your workers’ compensation claim.
When your treatment will last for more than 30 days
If you did not predesignate your doctor and your employer does not have pre-selected health care providers for their claims, then you can eventually go back to see your own doctor. The administrator managing your claim can choose the doctor providing treatment for the first 30 days. If you require more than 30 days’ worth of care, you will be able to select your own physician, provided that they cooperate with the program and can provide the necessary treatment.
Understanding your rights and the rule that apply to workers’ compensation claims can help you maintain control over the treatments that you receive.