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When does workers’ compensation cover physical therapy?

Physical therapy (PT) is often part of a person’s healing process. People who have suffered injuries often require PT to help regain mobility they may have lost due to the injury. It’s often necessary after surgery for that same reason. PT can also help ease the pain caused by injuries and help people who have suffered a disabling injury live as normal a life as possible.

Therefore, if you’ve suffered an injury on the job, your workers’ compensation benefits should cover PT as well as your medical care, right? After all, isn’t PT a form of medical care?

In many cases it does — at least for a limited time. However, the physician who is treating the employee for their injury needs to state that the PT (or any other treatments or therapies they recommend) is reasonably medically necessary for their patient’s treatment and recovery.

Once the treating physician determines that PT is no longer necessary or that it won’t help improve the patient’s condition any further, workers’ comp will likely no longer cover it. You may hear or read the term “maximum medical improvement” or MMI to describe the point at which PT can no longer help a person’s condition. At this point, your workers’ comp coverage for it will probably end.

Anyone who has had physical therapy after an injury or surgery knows how crucial it can be to getting your life back — or at least improving it. If you’re having difficulty getting workers’ compensation for PT you need as you recover from a workplace injury, it may be wise to seek the guidance of an experienced attorney.

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