Is Physical Exercise Allowed While On Workers’ Comp?
Suppose you are hurt at work and are on Wisconsin workers’ compensation. Can you engage in physical exercise or go to the gym while receiving benefits? The answer depends on several factors that are outlined in this article. Talk to our Racine workers’ compensation attorneys at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf about your legal options if you were hurt at work.
Physical Exercise While Your Claim Is Pending
Can you go to the gym or exercise when the workers’ comp claim is pending? It depends mainly on the type and degree of injury and the type of exercise. As you consider whether to exercise while a claim is pending, just remember that some workers’ comp insurers always look for a reason to deny a claim. They look for behavior that makes you appear uninjured or less seriously injured.
Suppose you hurt your knee at the warehouse where you work and are waiting for your claim to be approved. It is best not to engage in intense physical exercise that stresses your knees and legs. This is for your own health’s sake, but exercising too much with the affected knee could make the insurance company take note and question how injured you are. On the other hand, if you burned your hand in the office, it probably is ok to jog or walk because the injured body part is unaffected by the exercise.
If you are fully disabled and cannot work, going to the gym and working out may raise a red flag for the insurance company. Some workers’ comp attorneys also may be concerned that the insurer will claim you aggravated your injuries by doing physical exercise. Be safe before working out while your case is pending by getting approval from the treating physician for your workout. That way, if the insurance company finds out you are exercising, it has your doctor’s approval.
Physical Exercise While Receiving Workers’ Compensation Benefits
If you are receiving benefits and want to go to the gym, whether you should or not depends on the situation. As explained above, whether you should work out is influenced by the type of exercise and degree of injury. For example, if you broke your arm, using the treadmill at the gym should be fine.
Also, it is well-known that working out offers many mental and physical benefits, including during injury recovery. A physical therapist may encourage you to exercise in some ways to heal your injury. Many good gyms have specific equipment that will target certain areas of the body and exercise them safely.
Asking your doctor if it is ok to exercise while on workers’ comp covers your bases if the insurance company finds out. But remember, if you exercise or go to the gym without your doctor’s approval, your benefits could be reduced or suspended.
Will The Insurance Company Know You Are Working Out?
They may. Insurance companies often monitor people receiving or waiting for workers’ compensation benefits. This surveillance could just be phone calls to keep tabs on you, but other insurers may use drones and cameras to watch when you do not expect it. It is not difficult to observe a local gym; the insurer may just call and find out if you have checked into the gym lately.
Sometimes, the insurance investigator does not need to do anything to check up on you other than look at social media. For example, many of us post gym and workout photos on Facebook and Instagram, so be sure you do not do that while on workers’ comp.
More About How To Avoid Denials While On Workers’ Compensation
There are other ways that workers’ compensation can be denied or reduced. If you are dealing with any of the following situations, talk to a workers’ compensation attorney for assistance:
The Injury Did Not Happen At Work
A common reason a claim is denied is it did not happen at work, or you cannot prove it did. Some situations where the injury could be classified as non-work related include a lack of witnesses when the accident happened. Or the injury occurred because of recreational activity.
Another common issue is the injury or illness was caused by a pre-existing condition. The insurance company also could deny you if the injury happened to or from the way to work and you were not working at the time.
The Employee Did Not Get Prompt Medical Attention
It is always essential after a work-related injury to receive medical attention as soon as possible. Perhaps you did not go to the doctor because you thought your back injury would heal after a few days. But if it does not improve or worsen, not seeking medical attention promptly could be a problem.
Be sure to report your injury immediately to your employer and see the doctor that day. Also, go to all of your doctor appointments and follow their treatment plan, or you could lose benefits.
The Injury Was Related To Roughhousing Or Horseplay
Workers’ comp in Wisconsin covers most injuries at work. But if you were wrestling with someone at work and hurt your arm, there is a good chance your claim will be denied. Getting injured while fighting on the job also usually results in denial.
Contact Our Racine Workers’ Compensation Attorneys Today
Going to the gym or exercising is generally ok while waiting for or receiving workers’ comp benefits. However, getting your treating doctor’s approval is strongly recommended, and if you retain an attorney for your case, ask their opinion about exercise. Our Racine workers’ compensation attorneys at Gillick, Wicht, Gillick & Graf can help answer your workers’ comp questions and get you the most for your claim. Call today at (414) 257-2667.