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How does workers' compensation cover medical expenses?

Connecticut workers who are injured on the job or who suffered an illness or condition because of their work, can seek workers' compensation benefits. A common concern that these workers have surrounds their medical expenses and how they are paid. As such, understanding how workers' compensation benefits are paid with these issues is key.

A work accident victim or worker who became ill from the job should have all medical bills paid by the insurance carrier or the employer. If a worker has expenses for prescriptions, this should also be paid by the same entities. From Jan. 1, 2002, onward, the prescription costs should be paid by the insurer or employer directly. Claimants are not expected to pay out-of-pocket nor need to seek reimbursement. The medical bills should never be sent to the claimant.

In some instances, the injured worker must travel to receive treatment. Generally, the worker will be able to get reimbursement based on the mileage. From Jan. 1, 2010, onward, the payment was at the federal mileage reimbursement rate -- 50 cents per mile. Workers should retain records of the visits they had for medical treatment and submit them to the insurer. If it is necessary to have an ambulance or taxi, the carrier must pay for that.

In cases where workers are not completely disabled from work but they must also have medical treatment, they should get the treatment during work hours if it is possible. If it is not available during work hours, then the person can get reimbursed for their own time like it is lost time at work. This should be paid at the worker's hourly wage except in cases where they are getting weekly compensation benefits.

When workers are injured and file workers' compensation claims, it is essential that they remember they are also supposed to have their medical expenses covered. This extends to prescriptions, travel and being paid while they are still getting treatment even if they can work. If there are issues with these payments or any other problem related to workers' compensation, a legal professional experienced in helping injured workers can be of assistance.

Source: WCC.State.Ct.us, "An Employee's Pocket Guide To Connecticut Workers' Compensation, page 4," accessed on Nov. 27, 2017

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