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3 things to know about workers' compensation payments

Getting injured at work can cause you to feel overwhelmed and confused as to what to do. You likely will experience much worry about your physical, occupational and financial future.

Gaining knowledge about the process can help you focus and get through this emotionally difficult time. Start with knowing these three things about workers' compensation payments.

1. Payment may include mileage

Your employer or its insurance carrier decides on which physicians you can see. Therefore, to receive permissible care, you may have to travel outside your local vicinity. If trips to health care providers are at least 20 miles round trip, you qualify for mileage compensation. How much depends on when the driving occurred, but the current rate is 54 cents per mile. That would equal close to $11 per doctor's visit at the closest distance, which adds up over time.

2. Payment may not include the first seven days

Workers' compensation benefits depend on how long you cannot work. It takes time to determine this, so the first check will not include the first seven days. If your disability lasts more than 21 days, then a subsequent check factors in lost wages for that initial week.

3. Approval is necessary for certain aspects to receive payment

What if you do not like the doctor your employer chose? What if you think you would benefit from visiting a chiropractor for treatment? You must seek permission first to guarantee reimbursement for medical care.

You may request a new doctor from your employer or the insurer. If you receive a rejection, you may petition the North Carolina Industrial Commission with evidence as to why it is in your best interest to see a different provider. Be sure to wait for written approval from whichever party before transferring your care, or you will have to pay out of your own pocket.

For chiropractic care, your employer must approve. You can receive up to 20 visits before your chiropractor has to ask for employer authorization for further sessions.

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