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Idaho Worker’s Compensation: Ripoffs, Myths and Facts

RIP-OFF: You have to be driven to the ER by your employer for it to be a work injury.
FACT: It does not matter who drives you to a medical facility. Generally, if you were doing your job and got hurt – it’s a work injury.

RIP-OFF: You have to report your injury within 24 hours or you lose your rights to file a claim.
FACT: You have 60 days from the time of the injury (or from the time you realize you are hurt).

RIP-OFF: My employer is not required to have coverage.
FACT: All Idaho employers are required to have coverage. Call the Idaho Industrial Commission to find out if your employer is exempt.

RIP-OFF: The insurance company must approve of all medical treatment.
FACT: Idaho law specifically states that all reasonable and necessary care will be paid for by the employer and that prior authorization is not required (IDAPA 72-432).

RIP-OFF: Case managers have to be in the exam room with me and my doctor.
FACT: You can ask a case manager to leave; they have no right to be there.

RIP-OFF: My employer threatened to fire me if I file a claim.
FACT: Call the industrial commission! It is illegal to fire an employee for filing a claim.

RIP-OFF: I think my case manager is telling my doctor that I am not really hurt.
FACT: Tell the doctor that you are his patient and that you want to get better.

RIP-OFF: I was told that my injury was due to preexisting problems and I am not covered.
FACT: There is no exclusion for preexisting conditions in the workman’s comp system.

RIP-OFF: My doctor released me back to work without restrictions, but I can’t do the work.
FACT: Get another medical opinion, ask to be referred to another doctor and call the Industrial Commission. You may need to consult an attorney.

RIP-OFF: My doctor told me there was nothing more he could do for me.
FACT: Get another medical opinion; ask to be referred to another doctor.

RIP-OFF: I am being put through a „work hardening‟ program.
FACT: Many of these programs are designed to close out your claim. If you can‟t do the work, get another medical opinion, ask to be referred to another doctor and call the Industrial Commission. You may need to consult an attorney.

MYTH: The workers compensation system is full of fraud and waste.
FACT: Studies show that only 1 to 2 percent of workers’ compensation claims are fraudulent.

MYTH: People who file injury claims don‟t want to work and take advantage of the system.
FACT: Good people get hurt and deserve good medical care.

MYTH: If I hurt my spine I need to get a MRI immediately to see if I have a disc herniation.
FACT: Getting diagnostic tests like MRIs too soon can lead to unnecessary treatment. Studies show that most back or neck problems, including herniations, will get better in time.

MYTH: Doctors document all the injuries and symptoms that I have been telling them about.
FACT: Doctors cannot always write everything down. Review the chart notes to be sure.

MYTH: Medications only mask the problem, do not help me heal and may make things worse.
FACT: Medications can help heal some of the causes of pain and disability. They can be an important part of healing.

MYTH: All treatment providers are more or less the same.
FACT: The kind of provider you see will have an impact on your recovery.

Important Phone Numbers

  • Idaho Department of Insurance: 800-721-3272
  • Idaho Industrial Commission: 334-6000, 800-950-2110
  • Idaho Industrial Commission, Rehabilitation Division: 334-6000, 800-950-2110
  • Idaho Bar Association (Idaho State Bar): 334-4500
  • Injury Care Medical Center: 939-2100

This report is provided as a public, educational service by Injury Care Medical Centers. While every attempt is made to ensure that the information it contains is accurate and up to date, we cannot be responsible for consequences of incorrect information.

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