For the most part, workers’ compensation in Pennsylvania is a no-fault system. It doesn’t matter if you directly caused your own injury through a mistake. You still qualify for benefits after you get hurt on the job.
The most notable exception to this rule is the exclusion of those under the influence of drugs or alcohol on the job. With the exception of chemical impairment, there are few situations in which you would become personally responsible for a workplace injury and somehow endanger your right to workers’ compensation.
However, there is a scenario that could lead to the termination of your benefits and the denial of future benefits. Medical non-compliance during a claim could affect your future benefit rights.
You have to follow your physician’s recommendations
The doctor overseeing your care will evaluate your condition and recommend treatment. Sometimes, it may be rest that you need. Other times, physical therapy is part of the solution. Surgery, medication and even inpatient rehabilitation could all be necessary.
As someone receiving workers’ compensation, you cannot forego necessary medical care.
In order to continue receiving medical benefits and disability benefits until you can get back to work, you will have to follow the treatment plan. If you fail to do so, the insurance provider could point to that as clear evidence that you are responsible for ongoing symptoms or the way that your condition has developed. Rather than simply refusing certain treatments, a better option might be to ask for a second opinion.
Don’t let non-compliance cut you off from medical and disability benefits
Following the recommended treatment for your condition is a key component of workers’ compensation. You have a responsibility as a patient to commit yourself to treatment.
Of course, you still have rights that you can assert, such as the right to ask for a second opinion or to explore alternative therapies if you have a strong aversion to a specific suggestion. The more you understand about your rights when receiving workers’ compensation medical benefits, the easier it will be for you to handle things properly when you don’t want to comply with a specific recommended treatment.