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Can workers' compensation cover chiropractic treatments?

When a California worker is injured on the job, there are certain treatment options they want to have and believe will be effective. However, they may be concerned these treatments might not be covered by workers' compensation benefits. That includes getting chiropractic treatment. For those who want to be treated by a chiropractor, there are certain facts they should know.

In some instances, the employer or the insurer the employer uses for workers' compensation will not have a medical provider network (MPN). If that is the case, then the worker could have the ability to change a treating physician to a personal chiropractor. There are certain rules that must be followed for this. The employer must have been given the name and business address of the provider before the injury happened. It must have been done in writing and given via the applicable form.

When the claims administrator has started the medical treatment in the first 30 days after the injury, the worker can ask to have it transferred to the chiropractor. If the injury happened on or after January 1, 2004, there is a limit of 24 visits for which the chiropractor can be the treating physician. After that, the worker must select a new treating physician and it cannot be a chiropractor. That limit is not applicable if the injury happened prior to the above date. Should the employer give authorization in writing for additional visits, the cap is not applicable.

While there might be a debate as to the effectiveness of chiropractic treatment, many injured workers have had success in receiving this type of treatment and would like to receive it to resolve their work-related injuries. Understanding when workers' compensation will cover this treatment is key to getting it.

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  • San Jose: 408-624-8420
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