The only thing worse than getting hurt at work is losing out on the workers’ compensation benefits that protect you after a workplace injury. Familiarizing yourself with your rights under Illinois workers’ compensation law is an important first step for any injured worker. That way, you ensure that you file paperwork in a timely fashion and with all the required documentation.
However, just knowing how to file a claim for benefits is not the only thing you need to do to ensure you receive the treatments and compensation you deserve. Failing to adequately follow through with the recommended medical treatments prescribed by your doctor can have a direct impact on your ability to receive workers’ compensation benefits in the future.
Failing to follow medical advice is one reason for a claim denial
Many workers assume that workers’ compensation claims get denied because workers make mistakes in applications or because their employer denies the accident. While both of these situations can and do occur with some regularity, there is also the potential for a worker to lose out on benefits due to their own inaction. You could lose out on medical benefits, as well as any disability benefits you should receive.
Workers’ compensation regulations place some requirements on the recipients of those benefits. One of them is following through with medical recommendations and orders. Failing to do that can be enough reason to deny both medical coverage and disability payment benefits through workers’ compensation. While you can appeal that denial, you will likely need to show why you were non-compliant or how you have addressed that failure to follow medical instructions.
If you don’t agree with the treatment, get a second opinion
There are many complicating factors that can impact your willingness or ability to follow through with medical advice. For example, if your employer requires that you see their in-house medical professional who recommends unreasonable or painful procedures, that may put you off from complying.
Other times, it may seem like the doctor’s advice is contrary to the information you have about your injury. In the event that you do not trust or agree with the course of treatment recommended by the doctor involved, you should ask for a second opinion.
Get copies of your medical records and go to either a local clinic or a specialist. Explain your injury and the recommended treatment, as well as your objection to it. This second professional can then let you know if there are other options.
If there are other treatments available, you may be able to proceed with your new position. If the second opinion is the same as the first, you should reconcile yourself to that fact and comply with the doctors’ orders. Failing to do so could mean losing out on your benefits.