What benefits are part of workers' compensation? - Part II

In Part I of this two-part series, we began to examine what exact benefits an employee in Pennsylvania can expect to receive through the workers' compensation system. Part I detailed lost wages, death benefits and specific loss benefits. Here, in Part II, we will take a look at the medical care component of workers' compensation.

Pennsylvania residents who suffer workplace injuries or illnesses are entitled to receive compensation for reasonable medical expenses. The medical services the worker receives must be rendered by a physician or other healthcare professional.

For an injury suffered in a workplace accident, there will likely be costs associated with the treatment in the immediate aftermath of the injury, as well as follow-up expenses as doctors examine the injury as it heals over time. What about an illness that is caused by workplace conditions? These types of situations can incur a whole different set of expenses, as medications may be necessary, or perhaps an extended stay in a hospital. Are these expenses covered? In general, the answer is "yes," as long as the medical services are deemed necessary.

As long as all of the doctor visits, treatments, surgeries and medications are directly tied to the workplace injury or illness, the worker should not be billed for those medical services. This is obviously a huge part of the workers' compensation system, one that is borne by employers for the benefit of employees. But, if a dispute arises regarding a particular part of the medical treatment, employers may push back against the expenses. An employee who is encountering this type of resistance may want to get more information about the potential legal options.

Source: Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry, "Workers' Compensation & the Injured Worker," Accessed Oct. 10, 2015

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