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Texas oil worker loses benefits related to back injuries

When oil workers here in Texas are injured on the job, they are often entitled to workers' compensation benefits. Injures related to this line of work have the potential to be incapacitating and workers may have to rely on these benefits for income over a long period of time -- sometimes for the rest of their lives. A man who suffered back injuries related to his former job with an oil refinery had his medical benefits suspended after he'd been relying on them for over twenty years.

The man was working as a mechanic at an oil refinery when he slipped and fell, severely hurting his back. He needed two surgeries and medication for treatment, but was eventually retired for medical reasons by his workplace -- Social Security also has listed him as permanently disabled. He had been receiving workers' compensation benefits for over two decades when the insurance company declared that his injury was less severe than originally thought and stopped paying for his medical treatment.

This man is not the only person to face this issue. Increasingly, insurance companies are allegedly deciding to stop providing benefits when the cost becomes too great. In this man's specific case, his benefits were ended when a doctor for the insurance company reviewed his medical records and diagnosed him with a less-serious injury.

Employees who find themselves in a similar situation will most likely benefit from seeking help to examine the laws around workers' compensation benefits here in Texas and how they apply to their own case. Debilitating injuries -- like back injuries -- severely affect a worker's quality of life and can negatively impact their future. Employees have a right to seek the benefits to which they are entitled and should not fear someone else's second opinion.

Source: texastribune.org, "Worker's Benefits Cut Off Two Decades Later", Jay Root, April 28, 2014

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