Injured employees must follow the Workers’ Compensation process carefully to maximize their medical benefits, wage replacement, and return to work modifications.
Let’s talk about nine tips to help you get the most from your worker’s comp claim and look forward to a healthier, more productive work life.
1. Get Medical Assessment and Treatment Right Away
Not only does this benefit your health and overall function, but your hospital ER or PCP will document the kind and extent of your injury. Also, the provider will begin formulating a treatment plan to address your specific injury and recovery.
2. If You Are Injured on the Job, Notify Your Employer
Don’t delay. As soon as you are medically stable, inform your employer of how and where your work-related injury happened. Be as specific as you can, and remember, under federal law, your employer cannot harass you in any way because of your injury or workers’ comp claim.
3. Fill Out the Workers’ Comp Forms Provided by Your Employer
If needed, enlist the help of a trusted relative or friend. Ensure the forms are filled out completely and accurately and then return them within the deadline specified by your state regulations. Plus, keep a record for yourself–both paper and e-copies.
4. Keep Communicating with Your Healthcare Provider
Whether it’s with your PCP, physical therapist, or other medical professionals, you should communicate with them frequently, updating your symptoms and response to treatments. Ensure you report on symptoms that you know are related to your injury, as these are the only conditions that can be compensated under workers’ comp law. Generally speaking, pre-existing conditions are not covered.
5. Expect Functional Capacity Evaluations (FCEs)
Typically, physical and occupational therapists who help people with work injuries do periodic FCEs. These careful measures of strength, endurance, flexibility, grip, and more help everyone involved in a workers’ comp claim determine when, how, and if a worker can return to the job.
6. Do Your Homework
At home, learn about your work-related condition, and carefully follow the recommendations of your PCP and your physical therapist. Most injured workers do PT or OT on-site at a facility, but rehab care plans always include a homework component. Your self-care at home will help you recover from your injury more quickly and effectively.
7. Take Advantage of All the Medical Care You Are Entitled to
If you qualify, you may take advantage of assistive devices, imaging, lab tests, and hospitalization as needed. There are many interventions that the workers’ compensation covers as reasonable and necessary. So, be sure to self-advocate, and ask questions about your rights, benefits, and treatment plan.
8. Learn to Work Safely
Your healthcare provider will help you, and your employer creates the best possible work environment based on your injury, ability to return to work, and more. Work hardening and conditioning programs help return employees to accomplish job tasks, be productive, and earn wages.
9. Trust the Care at Endeavor Physical Therapy & Wellness
In the Austin, TX, area, our physical and occupational therapy team is the go-to resource for workplace injuries. Additionally, we understand the claim process and will help you get the wage compensation and medical care/payment you need.
We have several locations throughout the state of Texas, including three in the Austin area. To learn how we can help you, call our friendly staff at (512) 886-7110, or request your appointment online.