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The Role of Occupational Therapy in Workers’ Compensation Rehabilitation

If you were hurt at work, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance will cover your medical care costs. Depending on the extent and severity of your injury, your treatment plan can include physical and occupational therapy. Occupational therapy can help you cope with and recover from an injury, as well as provide you with tools to modify your home and work environment.

Your healthcare provider will explain the role of occupational therapy in workers’ compensation rehabilitation. A workers’ comp lawyer will help you fight to recover the benefits you need. Most will review your case at no cost or obligation and represent you on a contingency fee basis, meaning you can get started right away without incurring costly legal bills.

What Is Occupational Therapy?

If you were hurt at work, a workers’ compensation lawyer can help you get the medical benefits you need, including for occupational and other forms of therapy. A form of rehabilitation, occupational therapy focuses on restoring the nimbleness and coordination required to perform routine tasks.

According to Merck Manual research, occupational therapists help injured workers:

  • Create a safe living and working environment
  • Identify difficulties specific to the injured worker
  • Evaluate the injured worker’s home workplace support
  • Prescribe assistive medical devices and adaptations

The aftermath of a debilitating injury can be intimidating without the right help and support. Occupational therapy can help you regain confidence in your ability to move and function, which in turn can restore your willingness to keep working toward progress.

What Are the Benefits of Occupational Therapy in Workers’ Compensation Rehabilitation?

Depending on your workplace injury and the toll it takes on your body and ability to perform work-related tasks, occupational therapy can help you recover and return to work. The benefits of this specialized therapy include:

  • Improved range of motion
  • Restore physical strength
  • Develop proper body positioning
  • Pain control and management
  • Introduce specialized exercises
  • Adaptive equipment and modifications
  • Workplace safety assessments

Patient education is an important part of occupational therapy. Learning to move your body in different ways and adapt to the limitations of your injury can promote healing and restoration. Injury recovery is not complete until you have reached maximum medical improvement. Rehabilitation while on workers’ compensation has a two-fold focus—helping you return to the work you did before your injury and helping you adapt to a new line of work.

Who Pays for My Occupational Therapy?

When you get hurt at work, your employer’s workers’ comp insurance pays for all of your medical costs, including necessary therapies and rehabilitation. If your treatment plan calls for occupational therapy, it will be covered. In addition to each treatment session, workers’ comp may pay for the following assistive devices:

  • Adaptive utensils
  • Adaptive writing devices
  • Dressing and grooming aids
  • Home modifications
  • Mobility scooters
  • Orthotic devices
  • Prosthetic limbs
  • Ramps and railings
  • Reaching devices
  • Visual aids and screen readers
  • Walking aids
  • Wheelchairs

These and other prescribed devices can help you adapt to an injury and foster your recovery. A workers’ compensation lawyer in your area will help you apply for benefits and fight for all the medical and rehabilitative care you require.

What Other Benefits Can I Get by Filing a Workers’ Comp Claim?

The medical benefits of workers’ comp provide more than rehabilitative care. They also include every medical expense related to your injury. That means it covers emergency, hospitalization, follow-up care, and required prescriptions.

You are also entitled to obtain financial benefits if your injury prevents you from working for more than seven days. You will receive two-thirds of your average weekly salary. How long you receive benefits depends on how long it takes to recover or whether your injury is permanent. Accordingly, you could receive:

  • Temporary total disability when you cannot work for a limited time
  • Temporary partial disability when you cannot do your usual job for a limited time
  • Permanent partial disability when your injury partially, but permanently, prevents you from working
  • Permanent total disability when your injury permanently prevents you from returning to work

If a workers’ comp attorney represents you, they will collect evidence that establishes the severity of your injury, so you can access all the benefits you are entitled to receive.

How Can a Workers’ Compensation Lawyer Help With My Rehabilitation?

Applying for workers’ comp is an involved process that requires a plethora of supportive documentation. Your lawyer will help you gather all required documents and medical evidence. To strengthen and support your claim, they will also compile:

  • Expert medical testimonials
  • Proof of your treatment plan
  • Your written future prognosis
  • Medical authorizations
  • Therapy and rehab records

Your lawyer will properly document your case and fight for the medical and financial benefits you need and deserve. While they handle the details and hard work of your case, you can focus on getting better.

What Else Can a Lawyer Do to Help My Workers’ Compensation Case?

In addition to documenting your injury and medical care, your lawyer will handle the mechanics of your case. They will clarify and comply with all notification and filing deadlines to avoid putting your right to file your claim in jeopardy.

They will also document your job title, description, length of employment, and salary history. Your legal team can provide you with ongoing updates as your case progresses and represent you at all meetings, hearings, or a trial. If your initial application is denied, your lawyer will file an effective appeal on your behalf.

Call Us for Help With Your Workers’ Comp Case

If you suffered a workplace injury, you are entitled to all the medical care, rehabilitation, and therapy you need to recover. Our legal team understands the role of occupational therapy in workers’ compensation rehabilitation, as well as the importance of getting financial compensation throughout your recovery period.

Contact KJT Law Group at (818) 507-8525 for a free consultation today.

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