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How long can you receive medical care with workers’ compensation?

There is often a lot of uncertainty involved with a serious workplace injury. You may not know how long it will be until you recover or how much it will cost for all of your care.

You may need time off of work and expensive medical treatment, such as surgery or physical therapy. Thankfully, workers’ compensation benefits can provide workers in Illinois with disability pay when they need time off of work and medical coverage for their necessary treatment.

You can usually rely on workers’ compensation for full coverage of all necessary medical care related to a work-acquired illness or medical condition. When will that medical coverage stop?

In the case of an injury, when you reach maximum medical improvement

If you hurt your back, damage your spine or suffer a repetitive stress injury, you may never go back to the full function that you had before you got hurt. Workers’ compensation will only pay for treatment that will likely improve your medical condition or that is necessary because of the impact of the condition on your life.

If the doctor overseeing your care determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement, then future treatments to help cure or the injury or improve your function will not be available. However, if you continue to need ongoing pain management or similar support, then workers’ compensation medical benefits may still apply to those needs.

What if you have a work-acquired illness?

Not everyone who needs workers’ compensation will get better. Some work-acquired illnesses and conditions will persist for life or even prove terminal. For workers with a long-term condition caused by work, they can expect support for necessary treatment, even if they will not fully recover.

When someone has a work-acquired illness, like cancer related to workplace chemical exposure, they can count on receiving workers’ compensation medical benefits beyond just their maximum medical improvement.

All necessary treatment may have coverage under workers’ compensation unless someone accepts a settlement ending their right for any future claims. Connecting your medical condition to your employment is crucial if you will need workers’ compensation benefits to cover your medical expenses.

Taking the right steps early in the workers’ compensation claim process will help you maximize the benefits you receive.