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Can an employer stop paying for pain medication I take for my work injury?

Under certain circumstances, an employer can stop paying for an employee’s pain medication, such as opioids like Lorcet, Percocet and Oxycontin. Workers’ compensation law requires an employer to provide treatment to an injured worker when the treatment is necessary to cure and relieve the employee of the effects of the injury and to restore the employee to health. Workers’ compensation covers the treatment if medical testimony demonstrates that it is reasonably necessary to cure or relieve the effects of the employee’s injury.

The test is not what the employee thinks is best for their condition. The test is whether the medical evidence shows that the pain medication is reasonably necessary to cure and relieve the pain. If the time comes when medical evidence shows that continued prescribing of pain medication would never heal or relieve the worker’s condition, the employer may stop paying for the pain medication.

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