Workers’ compensation benefits in Virginia can provide replacement for someone’s lost wages through disability benefits and also medical coverage while an injured worker undergoes treatment. Some people fail to file a workers’ compensation claim because they are unaware of the benefits that they could derive and how they differ from other forms of protection that they may have.
For example, if you have health insurance coverage, you may not see the value in requesting workers’ compensation just for your medical treatment. You can get the same care through your primary care physician without involving your employer or the state.
However, workers’ compensation medical coverage will actually pay the full cost of care without passing anything on to the patient as their responsibility. How long can you rely on continuing to receive those benefits?
Until you fully recover
When someone breaks a leg or sprains an ankle, they require a fixed amount of time for their recovery. Once their body heals from the physical trauma they experienced, they will be able to fully return to work without any lasting reduction in their earning potential. Someone who makes a full recovery will typically receive medical benefits until the doctor determines that treatment has fully resolved their condition.
Until you reach maximum medical improvement
Not every medical condition has an obvious endpoint for your recovery like a broken bone does. Those with traumatic brain injuries, repetitive motion injuries and other work-related medical issues may have a lifetime of limitations and symptoms ahead of them.
If a condition reaches a point where additional treatment no longer increases someone’s ability to work or reduces their symptoms, the doctor may declare their condition stable and report that they have achieved maximum medical improvement. Workers’ compensation would not typically cover any ongoing treatment ends.
After symptoms come back unexpectedly
Repetitive motion injuries and back pain might get better temporarily, only for a worker to have their symptoms flare up again months or years later. Recurring symptoms directly related to a previous workers’ compensation claim will typically qualify someone for benefits again.
Getting the most out of your workers’ compensation benefits can help you minimize the personal expenses that you must cover because of a work-related medical issue.