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Are RSIs covered under workers’ comp?

Repetitive stress injuries are injuries that occur from performing the same movements over and over again. A few examples of RSIs include back injuries from frequent heavy lifting or sitting too long in a chair that offers poor back support and damage to wrists from typing or using certain construction tools — among various other things. Anyone in any field of employment can suffer from an RSI.

If you’ve been at your job for a while, doing the same thing day in and day out, performing the same functions, the same movements, you may have noticed the stress these movements have placed on your body. What may have once been easy to do may now be difficult because of pain. Many Alaska residents suffer from RSIs in silence because they do not believe there is anything they can do. The truth is many RSIs are treatable, and any treatments needed may be covered under workers’ compensation.

If injured, don’t keep it to yourself

If you notice pain associated with repetitive movements at work, say something right away. The sooner you get treatment, the better off you’ll be. To utilize workers’ comp benefits, it is necessary to:

  • Report the problem to your employer
  • File a work comp claim
  • See an approved medical provider

You may be able to use your own physician, but you may need to obtain approval to do so.

What if my claim is denied by insurance?

As is pretty common, you may start receiving treatment well before you find out if your workers’ comp claim receives approval. If denied, you may be responsible for covering your medical bills in full, which is not a burden you want or need. Know that a claim denial is not the end of the world. It happens more often than you might think, but, thankfully, there is an appeals process in place that allows you to continue trying to access workers’ comp benefits.

Don’t go it alone

When dealing with RSIs, workers’ comp insurers are typically picky about approving claims. Proving this type of injury is entirely work-related, which is required to receive benefits, can be difficult. If approved, you may find the coverage offered does not fully cover the cost of care and lost pay. If denied, the losses you experience may be more than you can bear alone. Don’t fret; with the right assistance, you can take the steps necessary to fight for full workers’ comp benefits.