Workers' comp benefits try to allow you to get the medical treatment and time off work you need after a workplace injury or illness so you can—ideally—recover and return to work. Oftentimes, continued benefits depend on you showing you have followed your doctor's treatment plan and are making your best effort to recover. So what happens when a global pandemic prevents you from going to the doctor? Hopefully, your claim was not affected by Covid-19, but if you are having any trouble with your benefits, we suggest you call us.
Nothing Was Normal in 2020
This goes without saying, but 2020 was a crazy year. If your initial claim for benefits was denied because you could not get to a doctor promptly, or you are worried about your ongoing benefits because you had to delay surgery or stop treatment, you might need help reminding someone of this. In 2020, many injured Ohio workers experienced:
- Difficulty seeing a doctor. While many workers were told to stay home at the beginning of the pandemic, essential workers continued to report to grocery stores, hospitals, and restaurants. If you were injured at work in 2020, you might not have seen a doctor right away. In fact, you might have had to wait several months and continued working.
- Cancellation of elective medical procedures. Because of the strain on hospitals caused by Covid patients, non-emergency medical procedures were canceled across the country. This includes things like knee, shoulder, and back surgeries often needed by injured workers. Without the surgery, your injury might have gotten even worse.
- Telemedicine visits. Your employer might have insisted that you be assessed after a workplace accident in a virtual appointment with a doctor. However, these visits are very limited in scope and should not replace a comprehensive physical exam when making a disability determination.
If you had these experiences and have struggled with workers' comp, you might need the help of an experienced workers' compensation attorney.
Covid Restrictions Should Provide a Valid Excuse
The Ohio Bureau of Workers' Compensation and the Industrial Commission have generally been very accommodating in cases affected by Covid restrictions, but that doesn't mean that individuals have not had difficulties. If you're one, please don't delay in contacting my office for help. Whether your initial exam was delayed or necessary treatment was canceled, we will help you get your claim back on track.