Pennsylvania Workers Comp: Can I refuse medical treatment?

MA110x75ORGI frequently get asked questions about medical treatment.  One of those questions revolves around surgery and whether an employee must undergo surgery or some other medical treatment.  The easy answer is, yes, you can refuse any medical treatment you do not want.  HOWEVER, the important follow up question to that is, will a refusal of medical treatment impact my workers compensation benefits?  That answer is, yes, it may have a substantial impact on your benefits.   Let me explain.
In Pennsylvania, you may forfeit benefits by refusing ‘reasonable medical treatment’.   The appropriate section of the law is
§306(f.1)(8) of the PA Workers’ Compensation Act.  The law states that an injured workers who refuses reasonable medical treatment forfeit their rights to compensation for the injury or for any increase in their incapacity that results from refusing the treatment.  The phrase “reasonable medical treatment” has been defined by PA Courts to mean treatment that is “highly probable to cure the health problem and enhance the injured worker’s prospects for gainful and fulfilling employment.”
It is important to note that reasonable medical treatment would be treatment recommended by YOUR doctor.  If your doctor recommends a specific treatment, such as surgery, a test, injections, or some other treatment that would help you get better, and you refuse, your workers’ compensation benefits will most likely be terminated.   Equally important for you to understand is that the reasonable medical treatment comes form your doctor, not from the insurance adjuster, nurse case manager, or your employer.
Workers Compensation rights are extremely valuable rights.  It is important before you sign anything, consult an experienced workers compensation attorney.    If you insurance adjuster, employer, or nurse case manager is causing you problems or stress, it’;s simple, call Mooney & Associates right now.   If you’ve been injured at work and live in the Waynesboro, Chambersburg, Shippensburg, Carlisle, Harrisburg, Gettysburg, Hanover, or
areas, don’t wait to protect and get the benefits you deserve.  Call Mooney & Associates at 1-877-632-4656 for a FREE CONSULTATION.  Your insurance carrier likely has an attorney constantly reviewing your claim and file, you should have your own!


Mark Buterbaugh

Attorney representing injured workers and Social Security Disability clients in Pennsylvania and Maryland.