With a severe work-related injury, all treatment options should be on the table, including surgery. At the same time, an operation is usually the most invasive treatment and the one that takes the longest to recover from. So it is often a last resort for a worker with a severe and painful, but not life-threatening, condition like a bulging disc in their back.
Besides a long and grueling recovery and possible complications, money is another reason many Arden Hills workers might think twice about having surgery. Most operations are very expensive, even with health insurance. And the recovery time could extend your time off work for weeks or more — more time you cannot earn an income.
What Minnesota workers’ comp law says
Fortunately, as an injured worker, you may not have to pay for your operation and resulting time off work yourself. Minnesota law requires employers to “furnish… surgical and hospital treatment” whenever it is reasonably required to cure and relieve an injured worker’s symptoms. Also, the employer must pay for a second opinion, no matter if the company or the employee requests one. However, if the employer is the one that wants a second opinion, the worker must show up, or the employer might be able to deny payment for the operation.
In addition, you could qualify for temporary total disability (TTD) workers’ compensation benefits during your recovery time. These benefits make up the majority of an injured worker’s lost income and other expenses.
Getting better should be your first priority after a work injury. This can be impossible without the money to afford medical care and household expenses until you can return to work. A workers’ comp attorney can help you work toward the best possible result.