When you are ill or injured, you seek care from your trusted family physician who you have been seeing for years. After all, this person is familiar with your medical history, and you have a good relationship with them.
So, if you are injured at work, your first thought may be to seek help from your family physician. If you do so, can you still pursue workers’ compensation benefits?
Who can I see for my workplace injury?
If you are injured at work, you have several options for your first visit with a physician. You can seek emergency care from any physician, choose your own physician or choose a physician who is certified by the Board of Workers’ Compensation (BWC). In general, this initial visit is covered by workers’ compensation benefits.
After that initial visit, you can continue being treated by a BWC-certified physician for further treatment of your injuries. If you do this, your medical expenses will continue to be covered by workers’ compensation.
However, if you continue to see a physician not certified by the BWC, your treatments may not be covered by workers’ compensation.
What if I’m unhappy with my BWC physician?
If you are unhappy with the care that you have been receiving by your BWC-certified physician, you can change physicians to another BWC-certified physician. To do so, there is a specific form you must fill out and submit.
You are free to seek care from any BWC-certified physician, and still be covered by workers’ compensation. But if you seek care from a physician who is not certified by the BWC, your medical expenses moving forward may not be covered by workers’ compensation.