Repetitive motion from on-the-job duties often results in employee injuries and the degeneration of employee joints known as osteoarthritis. In addition to the pain and suffering caused by this condition, osteoarthritis can severely limit mobility, affecting the victim’s ability to work.
This is a big deal. Billions of dollars are lost due to lost or reduced wages each year due to arthritis. Billions more are spent on treatment. According to the Centers for Disease Control, the total annual costs attributable to arthritis and other rheumatic conditions in the United States is approximately $128 billion.
How Much Will Treatment Cost for Your Arthritis?
The four most expensive treatment costs that osteoarthritis patients must face are:
- Medication costs. About one-third of direct medical expenses goes for medications to ease pain. Over-the-counter pain relief can vary from five dollars a week to twenty dollars, while prescription treatments can cost as much as $500 a month.
- Therapy costs. Physical therapy and pain management therapy costs add up to nearly half of direct treatment costs for osteoarthritis patients. Since the condition is degenerative, consistent development of surrounding muscles is essential to help relieve stress and pain. Unfortunately, this management doesn’t come cheap—a typical session can cost anywhere from $20 to $100.
- Surgery costs. Surgeries can cost upwards of $10,000 apiece, and although cost-effective in the long term, securing the money upfront can be nearly impossible.
- Home-care costs. A severe case of arthritis may cost you not only your job but also steal your independence. Osteoarthritis patients may require at-home care to complete the routine tasks of daily living. This type of personal care can come with a price tag more than $100,000 a year.
Benefits Available Through Workers’ Compensation
Fortunately, when an employee’s osteoarthritis can be directly linked to his work duties, the Florida’s workers’ compensation program can provide benefits to offset your expenses. If your condition qualifies, workers’ compensation benefits can cover the following:
- Lost wages during diagnosis
- Retroactive sick leave, as long as you can prove the absence was due to the arthritis
- Re-training. This includes any out-of-pocket expenses to train for a less stressful position
- Medical bills, including the initial diagnosis cost, check-ups, surgeries, and repeat rheumatology appointments
- Medications, including partial reimbursement for pain-relievers and prescription medicine
- Therapy, including partial reimbursement for any type of rehabilitation associated with the arthritis
Offsetting Costs by Filing a Claim
If you believe your osteoarthritis entitles you to workers’ compensation benefits, call us today for a FREE review of your case. We’ll be happy to explain your options to ensure your rights are being upheld.
Need more information about your workers’ compensation rights? Please feel free to download our guide, It’s Not Rocket Science, It’s Workers’ Comp. You’ll not only learn more about your rights and claim options, but you’ll also see how our knowledge and experience can help you get the justice you deserve.