Can Workman’s Compensation Cover Physical Therapy Bills?
Physical therapy, also PT, is a medical treatment given by doctors for a variety of injuries that may occur at work. As such, physical therapy is a common medical treatment available in a worker’s compensation claim. Workers with compensation injuries are often entitled to physical therapy. Why, because worker’s compensation is expected to cover the cost of medical treatment.
That being said, there are certain requirements employees must fulfil before their workers compensation can be used to settle physical therapy. As a result, some insurance companies may sometimes delay your physical therapy; in other cases, deny your claim. Delay or denial can hurt your chances of a speedy recovery. So, what exactly is a worker’s compensation and does it cover your physical therapy bills?
What is a Workers’ Compensation?
A workers’ compensation, workman’s comp for short, is an insurance program that compensates workers who experience on-the-job injuries. Workers’ comp compensates the worker for any long-term disabilities, lost wages and medical care that results from job-related accidents.
Workers’ compensation benefits typically fall into four categories which are: medical treatment, disability, vocational rehabilitation and funeral services. The coverage benefits of workers’ comp often differs from state to state.
What Qualifies You for Workers’ Comp?
If work is to blame for your accident or illness, then you may be entitled to the full workers’ comp benefits. The total package of a workers’ comp includes payments for medical bills and lost wages. Being eligible means you’re closer to receiving compensation regardless of how the accident happened. However, should you pursue a workers’ comp, you waive your right to file a lawsuit for damage against your employer (except in some special cases).
The eligibility requirements for a workers’ comp are pretty basic. They are as follows:
1. Must be an Employee
Ironically, not all workers can be considered employees under the workers’ comp law. Independent contractors like consultants and freelancers are not entitled to workers’ comp.
2. Employer must have Workers’ Comp Insurance
Not all employers have workers’ compensation insurance. Some state laws give the employer total responsibility over having workers’ compensation coverage. Make sure your employer provides coverage.
3. Injury or Illness Must be Work-Related
Pretty self-explanatory; to be eligible for workers’ comp insurance, your injury or illness must be due to work complications.
4. Must Meet Your State’s Deadline
Even if you fulfill the other requirements, you could be left in limbo if you don’t report or file a workers’ comp claim before the state’s deadline.
What If the Injury is My Fault?
Fortunately for you, the workers’ comp is a no-fault system. Even if you were to blame for your injury, as long as it’s as a result of working, you’ll be covered. However, if you intentionally hurt yourself due to drugs and alcohol, your injury will not be covered. Also, injuries resulting from violence will not be covered.
When Should I Return to Work?
Your employer and insurer will be eager to see you return to work early as this allows them to stop paying you the full workers’ comp benefits. Don’t be pressured into rushing back to work, especially if you aren’t strong enough to work. Your employer is mandated to keep paying your workers’ comp benefits until you’ve fully recovered.
Consult your doctor before returning to work. If the doctor clears you for work, then you should return. You earn more working physically anyways, than you would on a workers’ comp.