It’s very hard to estimate how long an individual will take to recover from an on the job injury. After all, we are all different. We have different body compositions, different levels of health, people respond differently to both conservative and invasive forms of treatment and doctors don’t always follow the same treatment plan for every person.
Instead, what I like to tell my clients is that workers’ compensation doesn’t last forever. If you’ve read any of my other blog articles, I have probably referred to the limited aspect of workers’ compensation. In other words, the benefits provided to workers recovering from an injury are usually finite.
Temporary Total Disability Benefits
For example, when someone comes to me and their treatment is likely to include a total knee replacement or a spinal fusion procedure it’s important to discuss the 104 week limitation with temporary total disability (TTD) benefits. When a doctor has placed someone out of work completely (or on work restrictions the employer cannot accommodate) these TTD payments are the weekly benefits owed to injured workers. Strategically, these benefits need to be coordinated appropriately because the 104 weeks, or 2 years, worth of benefits is only good within a 5-year period from the date of an injury. After 5 years is up, the carrier is no longer responsible for replacing missed income whether the entire 104 weeks of benefits has been exhausted or not.
When someone is undergoing a procedure that is not only going to keep them out of work for a long time, but also carries a long postoperative recovery period, it’s vital these weeks aren’t burned up too soon. Otherwise, you face being without any income while still out of work treating or having to file for state disability benefits. We see medical reports from new clients all the time where people go months just circling back and forth to the doctor with nothing happening. This is not productive and many occupational medicine clinics just don’t get people the treatment they need.
Develop a Plan of Attack for Pursuing the Claim
Because these benefits can quickly burn up while workers’ compensation continues to deny, delay and outright ignore treatment needs it is urgent that injured workers develop a plan of attack for pursuing their claim. We can assist you with controlling your medical care so you can skip all the hold ups with obtaining necessary care and move forward with getting better and back to work faster.
If you feel like your treatment is being delayed, denied or ignored please contact our office today for a free consultation so we can discuss how to keep your claim moving forward so you don’t end up lost in the workers’ compensation system.