When you are going through a Workers’ Compensation case, your weekly checks for Temporary Total Disability (TTD) and your medical treatment will be at the top of your mind. While some delays in getting TTD or getting your treatment are inevitable, some are completely avoidable. These avoidable delays usually stem from not getting your attorney the proper documentation after a doctor’s visit. So, what documentation does an attorney need from their client? The answer is simple: work status notes and scripts/notes for treatment.
Work Status Notes
Every time you see a doctor during a Workers Compensation case, you need to make sure they assess your ability to work and provide you with a work status note. There are three different types of work status notes a doctor can give you:
- Off-Work Completely: In this instance, you must call your supervisor at work, inform them the doctor has taken you off work, then you provide them a copy of the off-work note. Then, you must send a copy of the off-work note to your attorney so that your attorney can make sure Work Comp pays your TTD on time.
- Return to Work: but under light-duty restrictions: Sometime your doctor will send you back to work but under light-duty restrictions. When you received a light-duty note, you send a copy of the note to your supervisor and ask them if they can accommodate. Then you send a copy of the note to your attorney who will confirm with Work Comp whether or not your employer can accommodate.
- Return to Work Full Duty: When you get a doctor’s note that tells you can work full duty, send the note to your supervisor and ask them when you can return to work. Then, you send a note to your attorney who gives you instructions on the next steps in your case
Script/Note for Medical Treatment
When a doctor recommends medical treatment (for Physical Therapy, Work Conditioning, Surgery, Diagnostic Exams etc), you should always ask them to write a note for the treatment they recommend on their prescription pad or give you a letter with their treatment recommendation. After you get this note, you should send it to your Attorney who will then contact Workers Comp to get the approval. Some doctors will tell you that they will send the note to your attorney. DO NOT RELY ON YOUR DOCTOR TO DO THIS. Doctors’ offices are very busy and they understandably forget to follow through on sending this documentation to your attorney. You should be persistent in getting the note from your doctor. Then, send a copy of the note to your attorney.
With Work Status notes and Scripts/Notes for treatment, always make sure you keep a copy for yourself.
We want to help you throughout this entire process. For more advice and helpful hints, please call any of our attorneys at Strom & Associates, Ltd at (312) 609-0400.