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What medical benefits are available via workers' compensation?

No matter the line of work, a Massachusetts resident can be put in harm's way. An individual's job, such as fireman, police officer or construction worker, can have obvious risks, but even seemingly harmless jobs can pose a threat. Office workers may suffer injuries when moving office equipment and delivery drivers can be hurt in a car accident. Regardless of the job or type of injury suffered, those who are hurt on the job may need financial assistance to cover their medical expenses and lost wages. Fortunately, help may be sought through the workers' compensation system.

How much compensation may an injured worker be entitled to through workers' compensation? Massachusetts' regulations state that an injured worker is entitled to reasonable medical care that is adequate for the injuries suffered. This includes reimbursement for prescription medication and even reimbursement for mileage to and from doctor appointments. This can provide much financial relief, especially since an injured worker may also be able to recover a portion of his or her lost wages.

When it comes to acquiring medical care, an injured worker's employer can designate who the worker sees for an initial visit. After that, the worker can seek treatment from whichever medical provider he or she chooses. From time-to-time, though, an insurer can insist that the injured worker see a designated medical professional to reevaluate the extent of the injury and its effect on the workers' ability to work.

It can be difficult to successfully file a claim for workers' compensation. Far too often, initial claims are denied, requiring an individual to seek an appeal. Even those who are successful in acquiring benefits may feel as if they are short changed. In these instances, an injured worker may still be able to make an appeal for additional compensation. When pursuing these matters, it may be beneficial to seek out legal assistance.

Source: Executive Office of Labor and Workforce Development, "Medical Benefits," accessed on Sept. 10, 2016

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