Were you injured while performing the normal responsibilities of your job and are now worried about how you are going to pay for all your medical bills? If so, know that worker's compensation is designed to help pay for your financial losses in this exact type of situation. Here are some common questions you're likely to have about using worker's compensation.
Are Pre-Existing Conditions Covered Under Worker's Compensation?
One concern people have about worker's compensation is if pre-existing conditions are covered under this form of insurance. The only times that you'll see a pre-existing condition qualify was if it was aggravated to the point where you formed an injury that has caused you to become disabled. For example, if you have a bad knee that has always caused you problems, it would be hard to qualify for worker's compensation due to knee problems alone. However, if you suffered a slip and fall that aggravated your knee to the point where it is difficult to walk, you would qualify for worker's compensation because there is a disability.
Can You Visit Your Own Doctor?
Be aware that you won't always be able to visit your own doctor using worker's compensation. Using the insurance is the same as using a different insurance policy with its own network of doctors, and you will have to visit the doctors that have agreed to take that type of insurance. If your own doctor is on that list of approved doctors, then you'll be able to visit them for your treatment.
Needing to use an approved doctor is very similar to if you needed to use your car insurance to have the damage fixed. The car insurance provider may have an agreement with certain mechanics or body shops to fix your car at a low rate, and you must go to those vendors if you want to use the insurance.
What Reimbursements Will You See?
You can expect to have all of your medical expenses covered under worker's compensation. However, you can also receive reimbursements for co-pays, travel to get to the doctor, parking, durable medical goods that you need to purchase, prescriptions, and lost wages. In general, if it's a cost associated with your injury, you'll be able to be reimbursed for that cost.
What Are Your Disability Benefits?
You will be given a percentage of your weekly earnings as a disability benefit, which is what you are paid while you sit at home and recover from your injury. Each state will have its own laws regarding how much you are paid during this time, so make sure you understand how your local laws will apply. For example, it could be 80% of your total wages, which is enough for you to recover at home and not worry about how you'll pay your bills.
To learn more, contact a worker's comp lawyer.