After a work injury in Rhode Island, there will be a series of questions that the injured worker and their family will have. Notably, that includes the medical care they will receive, how long they will receive it and what will happen with their paycheck. Unless the person is permanently disabled, they are expected to improve with the passage of time.
However, that does not mean that they will be ready to get back to the same type of work they did before. Rehabilitative treatment is a fundamental part of the workers’ compensation benefits protocol. It is key to know what is available and how the worker is protected. For any issues that might be in dispute, workers should be fully aware of their rights.
Understanding rehabilitative care after a work injury
The objective with rehabilitative care is to get the worker back to a condition where they can perform gainful employment. It can cover every aspect of an injury – physically, mentally, vocationally and emotionally. They will receive care designed to get them in condition that is as close as possible to their status before the injury. There could also be a re-employment program to find them suitable work.
Medical restorative services are given to facilitate their return to full strength. For example, if they need surgical procedures, that will be provided. They can also get hospitalizations as needed, chiropractic treatment, physical therapy, occupational therapy, medications, prosthetic limbs, nursing care and more.
People who believe spiritual treatment such as prayer can be effective can still get workers’ compensation and will not be compelled to undergo medical or surgical treatments they do not want. It must be provided by a viable practitioner or a known church. Their workers’ compensation benefits cannot be suspended for taking this route. The employee will still need to accept physical examinations by medical professionals while they are getting benefits.
The goal with vocational services is to help the worker return to their previous job. If that is not possible, then they will be treated so they can find another type of work. This ties in with re-employment services to find them suitable employment based on their recovery and functionality.
After a work injury, it is important to know what services are available
People might be under the impression that work injuries generally happen to people who are performing physical tasks or place themselves in harm’s way as part of their duties. In truth, anyone can suffer an injury or condition from their work even if their job is generally sedentary like office work.
Regardless of how it happened, people might not be able to do the same job they did before even after rehabilitative care. That is the primary target and the treatment they receive will be based on that. When they cannot return to their former job but can do some form of work, they could need vocational rehabilitation and re-employment services.
There is often discord between the worker and the workers’ compensation insurer about these matters. To ensure that all the required services are provided, it is useful to have help from professionals who have been dealing with these issues for more than 50 years, know the rules and are experienced in the terrain. Workers have rights even if they are injured and it is vital to exercise them during the entire process.