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What You Need to Know About Marijuana When Filing for Workers’ Compensation

Marijuana is still illegal in Nebraska, but there is bigger trouble for those that use it while on workers’ compensation.

Although marijuana remains illegal in all forms in Nebraska, legislators continue to debate the idea of medical marijuana in the state’s legislature. For now, any bills on the issue are stalled but soon, medical marijuana may come to the state. While legislators continue to debate whether or not marijuana in its medicinal form can help with certain conditions, there is one thing that is certain. Even if marijuana was fully legal in the state, it would still cause big problems for people making workers’ compensation claims.

How Using Marijuana Could Affect Your Claim

Due to the fact that marijuana is not yet legal in Nebraska, using marijuana while on workers’ compensation could affect your claim and the benefits you receive. Insurance companies worry that when a person becomes intoxicated, he or she could further injure him or herself, leaving the insurance company with additional costs that had nothing to do with the initial injury.

To protect themselves, insurance companies will likely reduce benefits if it is found that a person uses marijuana while on workers’ compensation. In some cases, they may deny benefits altogether and they may legally have a case for doing so.

Even if medical marijuana becomes legal in Nebraska, it is unlikely that insurance companies would be expected to pay for the costs if patients choose to use it. Other states that have legal marijuana, such as Colorado, have mandated that marijuana is not the insurer’s responsibility and Nebraska would likely follow suit if the laws changed.

Marijuana and Doctors’ Referrals Under Workers’ Compensation

Even if medical marijuana became legal in Nebraska, workers could still run into problems with it if they tried to get a prescription while on workers’ compensation.

This is because marijuana is still illegal under federal law. As such, insurers across the country are hesitant to refer patients to a specific doctor for a medical marijuana prescription, even in states that have made it legal. If the insurer did allow a worker to see a certain doctor so they could receive medical marijuana, they could be found guilty of breaking federal law.

In Nebraska, employers may choose a doctor for the worker if the worker waives their right to receive treatment from a doctor that has already treated them. When the worker does not already have a doctor, the employer may also choose one for them. Should the laws change in Nebraska, it is still unlikely that employers would knowingly choose a doctor that would provide a medical marijuana prescription.

Need More Help with Your Claim? Call Our Nebraska Workers’ Compensation Attorneys

If you have been hurt at work, it is important to understand that you have rights. However, it is just as important to understand that you also have certain obligations and must follow certain rules. At Andres Law Offices, PC, LLO, our Omaha workers’ compensation attorneys can advise on all aspects of your claim and guide you through the process to help ensure you receive the benefits you need. Call us today at (402) 491-4003 to schedule a meeting with one of our attorneys and learn more about how we can help with your claim.