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WORK HARDENING or WORK CONDITIONING – WORKERS COMPENSATION LAWYER

work hardening workers compensation

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What is work hardening in a workers compensation case?

Work hardening also referred to as work conditioning, generally speaking, is a course of physical therapy.  However this course of therapy differs from ordinary physical therapy because work hardening is focused on getting the person to a level of physical ability to return to their particular job while physical therapy is a general physical regimen to increase overall physical ability.  (credit: selectphysicaltherapy).  Think of it as aggressive physical therapy.  While an ordinary physical therapy session may last 30 minutes to an hour, work hardening or work conditioning can last 4 to 8 hours. 

Workers Comp denied my work hardening and work conditioning?

It is not uncommon for workers comp to deny work hardening or work conditioning because it is an increased expense for the insurer and they often wish to minimize costs by denying the treatment.

If workers comp has denied work conditioning or work hardening the injured worker may still seek this treatment by contesting that denial at the workers compensation commissionThis can be done by requesting a hearing for authorization for work hardening by using the commission “issues” form.

In many cases work hardening and work conditioning is approved by workers comp because it is often beneficial to the injured worker and will help them improve there physical capabilities.  Work hardening is an added expense for the workers compensation insurance carrier however the carrier may ultimately redeem some or all of that expense because the injured workers permanency award may be reduced if they have physically improved as a result of the therapy program.

If treatment is denied in any form it is often a good time to consider obtaining a workers compensation attorney to assist in obtaining the treatment.

When and how long does work hardening take place in a workers compensation case?

Work hardening or work condition is often the last form of treatment an injured worker will receive before being released from medical care.  It usually takes place after any form of surgery, physical therapy, or injection therapy and may be the medical providers last attempt to increase overall functionality.

It some instances work hardening may take place at some point early in treatment.  If surgery or other forms of intrusive treatment is not preferred then the alternative form of treatment may be a work hardening or work condition program.

The course of work hardening can very greatly based on the injured workers needs and how much they are expected to improve.  If the goal is to increase the injured workers capacity from a sedentary capacity to a heavy capacity the course of treatment would naturally take longer.  If however the injured workers improvement goals are minimal then a short course of work hardening or work conditioning may be justified.  

Workers Comp Work Hardening sessions can vary from 3 times a week to up to 5 times a week.  Each session can last anywhere from 2 hours to 4 hours.  The expected duration can be for a period of 8 weeks or more.  (credit medrisk.net)

As the injured worker progresses through the work hardening the demand of the therapy session increase.  Work hardening may start with light weights 3 times a week for 2 hours with the expectation to graduate to heavy weights 5 times a week.

Should I attend work hardening in my workers compensation case?

An injured worker should attend work hardening or work conditioning if workers comp is approving the treatment and only in very limited circumstance they may want to consider skipping the work hardening.  One of if not the only reason to not attend work hardening is if a physician is warning that it could ultimately result in more harm than good.  

An injured worker should serious consider attending work hardening and work conditioning because it could provide long lasting benefits in the form of greater physicality.  It could also be the difference between returning to the work force or remaining unemployed/unemployable.  An injured worker may at some point think that if they skip work hardening they will receive more compensation from the workers compensation case.  Seldom skipping the course of therapy will mean an increased compensation amount.  In the long run the benefit from the work hardening will largely outweigh the potential increased compensation the injured worker may receive. 

Do I get to choose where I get my work hardening in my workers compensation case?

In Maryland an injured worker has the right to choose the medical provider with whom they treat.  The only exception to this rule is when the insurance company schedules an Independent Medical Evaluation.

This rule holds true with choosing a work hardening or work conditioning provider.  Difficulty selecting a provider sometimes arises because not all medical facilities that provide work hardening accept workers compensation.  In addition many physical therapists are not qualified to perform work hardening or work condition, or they choose not to provide this service.  However there are a number of facilities throughout the state of Maryland that provide work hardening in workers compensation cases.

If you have been injured on the job  Workers Comp attorney Andrew M. Rodabaugh can help.  No fee unless money is recovered!

Call Us, Click to email  or Fill out the Form below!

 

 

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Work Hardening and Work Conditioning while on workers comp
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Work Hardening and Work Conditioning while on workers comp
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WHAT IS WORK HARDENING OR WORK CONDITION. At what stage of my workers compensation case do I go to work hardening? Do I have to attend work hardening? Workers comp denied my work hardening.
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Work Injury Maryland
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