Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Pay for Medical Supplies, and Which Ones?


Do Workers’ Comp Benefits Pay for Medical Supplies, and Which Ones?

If you have been injured at work and are receiving medical treatment, you may wonder if workers’ comp benefits pay for your medical supplies. Medical needs for workplace injury sufferers often extend beyond doctor’s visits. You may need medical supplies for a variety of injuries and reasons. Fortunately, the Minnesota workers’ compensation system can help you get them.

In Minnesota, your employer or your employer’s workers’ compensation insurance company must pay for any medical supplies that you need as a result of a workplace injury. (Minn. Statutes § 176.135.) The law covers many types of medical supplies that must be paid for by your employer:

  • Surgical supplies
  • Crutches and canes
  • Medicine and prescriptions
  • Artificial limbs
  • Glasses
  • Hearing aids
  • Oxygen
  • Wheelchairs

Employers may have to pay for many other types of medical supplies not listed here, depending on the injury involved and the medical treatment needed. In addition, employer must pay for replacement or repair of devices such as hearing aids or glasses that are damaged due to a workplace injury.

Injured workers may discover that they need more or different medical supplies as time goes on. As a result, the law provides that employers must pay for supplies that the employee needs at any time after the the injury “to cure and relieve from the effects of the injury”. (Minn. Statutes § 176.135, subd. 1.) If a member of the worker’s family provides nursing care and the worker is permanently and totally disabled under the law, the employer also has to pay for the reasonable value of these nursing services.

As listed above, employers must pay for prescriptions that injured workers are prescribed due to their injuries. The law allows employers to select a particular pharmacy or network of pharmacies from which workers must obtain their prescriptions. The employer also can require that the employee get nonprescription medicines used to treat the injuries at a particular pharmacy. If, however, the designated pharmacy is more than 15 miles away from the worker’s home, he or she can use a different pharmacy. (Minn. Statutes § 176.135, subd. 1(g).)

Need help getting workers’ compensation for your injury? Joe Osterbauer, Esq. and the Osterbauer Law Firm stand up for injured Minnesota workers’ rights. Joe’s 27 years of workers’ compensation experience and his team’s speedy service combine to get clients the results they need. To schedule a free consultation, visit Osterbauer Law Firm online or call Joe’s office at (612) 334-3434.