Sometimes I have clients who have permanent injuries and when they are told that their case has been “closed”, they get a horrified look on their face as they wonder where they will continue to get medications and treatment that they may need for the rest of their lives. Don’t worry, I tell them. You have been given “supportive care” benefits. The easy definition of supportive care is that it is medical treatment that is pre-approved after an injured worker has been found medically stationary, the goal of which treatment is to help the injured worker maintain his or her level of function. It is different from “active care” which is care that is designed to improve a workers condition. It is when the treating doctors feel that all active care (improving the condition) has been exhausted that they usually find the injured worker “medically stationary”, close the claim, and make recommendations for “supportive care”, which is also sometimes called “supportive medical maintenance”.
If you are given supportive care in your Arizona Workers Compensation claim, make sure and use it. It is usually only approved in two year increments. If you don’t use it, the doctor and carrier will assume you don’t need it and will cancel it.
Chad Snow is a workers compensation attorney with offices in Phoenix and Tucson, Arizona. He can be reached at (602) 532-0700 or (520) 647-9000 or at his webpage of Snow, Carpio, and Weekley.