Termination of Worker’s Comp Benefits
The first sign that your workers’ compensation wage loss benefits may be in jeopardy is when you receive in the mail a notice for you to attend an Independent Medical Examination (IME). This is a quick one-time examination by a physician of the workers’ compensation carrier’s choice. Keep in mind that the physician is paid directly by the carrier, and in most instances will find a way to side with the workers’ compensation carrier’s position that there is nothing wrong with you regarding your work injury and that you are fully recovered from your work injury.
After a Workers’ Compensation Carrier receives the Independent Medical Examination (IME) report and if it states a full recovery of your work injury, the Workers’ Compensation Carrier will hire an attorney to file a Termination Petition against you, the injured worker, in an attempt to stop all of your wage loss and medical workers’ compensation benefits that you are receiving.
So, what does this mean for you, the injured worker?
At this point, you, the injured worker, must hire a workers’ compensation attorney to respond and file an Answer to the Termination Petition to contest the Petition filed against you. Note-this is time sensitive, so you must act quickly so you don’t miss important deadlines.
As with all other Petitions filed in workers’ compensation court, you need representation. With the Termination Petition, the IME Dr. will testify consistent with his report to support his opinion of full recovery. You, the injured worker, must have a doctor testify that you are NOT fully recovered from your work injury and you must also testify that you still have symptoms and ongoing difficulties with your daily living activities and that you are NOT fully recovered.
Defending workers’ compensation petitions, especially ones that require physician testimony can be costly to litigate, as the doctors all require payment for their testimonies. Further, you need an experienced workers’ compensation lawyer to take and attend the depositions of both physicians, to ask the appropriate questions to make the best case for you before the assigned workers’ compensation judge.
Thank you for taking the time to learn more about workers’ compensation through our Workers’ Comp Wednesdays with Kara Curry on 99.9 The Hawk. If you or a loved one has a question regarding your work injury or claim I invite you to contact me via phone (215) 530-7166, email or the form to the right. As a certified workers’ compensation attorney, I am happy to offer free consultations. – Paula Robinson, Esq.