If I am laid off from work and have another surgery do I qualify to receive money from Workman's Comp again?

Asked over 4 years ago - Saint Louis, MO

I was injured at work over 2 years ago and have had three surgeries so far. During my time recovering I have received a percentage of my normal pay from Workman's Comp. When I was released to go back to work after my last surgery I was laid off. My doctor says that he wants to do another surgery in three months. If I am still laid off do I qualify to receive money from Workman's Comp again? As far as I understand, unemployment would stop when I have another surgery because I am not able to work anymore. If I do qualify for money from Workman's Comp would it be a percentage of the money I was making when injured?

Attorney answers (2)

  1. Michael Thomas Harvath

    Contributor Level 9

    Answered . Hi. I am a Missouri attorney that focuses my practice on workers' compensation and personal injury claims.
    In Missouri, your workers' compensation benefits do not cease until an employer-referred doctor who is treating you determines that you have reached maximum medical improvement, also referred to as "MMI". This is the point at which the doctor determines that you have received all necessary medical treatment and your body has healed as fully as it ever will. Even if you are terminated, you are still entitled to receive workers' compensation benefits if you have not yet reached MMI.
    One question that is important here is whether the doctor who wants to do another surgery is the doctor that your employer referred you to, or a doctor you have chosen on your own. Even if your own doctor believes that another surgery is necessary, there are ways to argue that workers' compensation should cover the cost of this additional surgery, and should also pay for any medical treatment you would need in the future. However, the argument can be complicated, and you will be attempting to negotiate with an attorney for the employer's insurance company.
    I hope this helps some. I can be reached via e-mail at mth2000@yahoo.com.

    NOTE: This answer is for educational purposes and does not constitute legal advice. The use of this site does not establish an attorney-client relationship or privilege between the user and the attorney responding.

  2. Michael J. Helfand

    Contributor Level 16

    Answered . Yes, you should still qualify for workers' compensation. From what you said, it sounds like it's all part of the same injury. Ask your attorney to explain any obstacles you may face in getting coverage for the surgery. If you don't have an attorney, you should probably find one soon. Having an attorney can be especially helpful when benefits are denied. I can't be much more specific without knowing more, but I'd be happy to speak with you over the phone. I'm an Illinois attorney, but I can recommend an attorney near you who has years of experience successfully representing injured workers. Feel free to give me a call at 1-800-807-9530.

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