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How does the rehabilitation process work? - Part 1

Workers' compensation rehabilitation can come in two forms. The first is physical rehabilitation. The elements include medical treatments or physical therapy prescribed to help you heal and restore you to normal, or as close to normal, function as possible. The second is vocational rehabilitation, often necessary if your injury leaves you unable to return to the same work you had been doing.

In this post we explore processes associated with physical rehabilitation, to give you an idea of what to expect when you file a claim under the New York workers' compensation system. In our next post, we will turn our attention to vocational rehabilitation benefits.

Types of physical benefits

When you suffer a job-related injury, the top priority is receiving immediate treatment. The next priority should be filing a workers' compensation claim. Failure to do so puts your benefit rights at risk. Those benefits include any emergency care you need, but they also include:

  • Coverage of special diagnostic testing or X-rays
  • Medical treatment and prescriptions
  • Surgeries
  • Physiotherapeutic procedures (physical therapy)
  • Cash benefits for time lost from work
  • Supplemental cash benefits for death or disability

Diagnostic testing, surgery and physical therapy require medical providers to follow the Workers' Compensation Board's Medical Treatment Guidelines when the treatments deal with mid and low back, knee, wrist, shoulder, and neck issues.

If a provider's recommendations diverge from the guidelines, the law requires prior approval from the Workers' Compensation Board or the insurance company.

Do you have questions?

While benefits can be comprehensive, insurers typically seek ways to limit financial exposure by denying coverage. If you have concerns about your benefits, consult an experienced workers' comp attorney to explore your options.

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