A primary workers’ compensation benefit is payment for all reasonable medical services required by the work injury. This might include payment for hospital and surgical services, doctor visits, physical therapy, chiropractic treatment, prescription medications, glasses, artificial limbs and all other medical expenses which are necessary because of your injury.
If an injury has caused a permanent loss of function to a body part listed in the law, you may also be eligible for a permanent impairment award. The amount of such an award depends upon the part of your body affected, your percentage of loss of function, and the amount of your average weekly wage. Your loss of function must be determined by a physician in accordance with guidelines prepared by the American Medical Association.
In most cases, once you have recovered you are entitled to return to your former job, but that is subject to limits on the size of the employer and how long you were disabled.
If you are unable to return to your prior employment, or the job skills you may have are not transferable to other employment, you may also be entitled to vocational rehabilitation assistance. Ordinarily, the employer or employer’s insurance carrier will assign a vocational rehabilitation counselor to assist you with locating and applying for suitable jobs. If you cannot find employment within your qualifications and medical restrictions, you may be entitled to retraining. The objective is to approximate your pre-injury wage. Benefits can be suspended for failure to cooperate with vocational rehabilitation efforts.