What Are the Workers’ Compensation Official Disability Guidelines (ODG)?


Posted by: Chris

The Official Disability Guidelines (ODG) established by the Work Loss Data Institute play an important role in every workers’ compensation case. If you are in the process of seeking workers’ compensation benefits, it’s important to understand how these guidelines could affect different aspects of your case. Here’s what every worker in Oklahoma should know:

How the ODG Affect the Treatment of Work-Related Injuries

Your employer is required to pay 100% of your medical expenses following a workplace injury. This means you will not have to pay a dime out of your own pocket to treat your work-related injuries. 

But, how does an employer determine which treatments are necessary? The ODG is the primary standard of reference for the treatment of work-related injuries. Healthcare providers reference these guidelines when determining which treatments are medically necessary for your injuries. For example, let’s say you sustained a soft tissue injury at work. The ODG may recommend physical therapy and outline how often you will need therapy and how many sessions you will need total.

Doctors need to reference these guidelines when determining which medications to prescribe as well. If a doctor wants to prescribe a certain medication not recommended by the ODG, pre-approval is required. 

The guidelines are not requirements, so your doctor may decide to adjust the recommended treatment plan to better suit your medical needs. But in general, the ODG plays a very important role in determining how your work-related injuries are treated.

How the ODG Can Quickly Resolve Workers’ Compensation Disputes  

Many workers’ compensation claims are denied because the insurance company does not believe the victim’s injuries are serious enough to require medical treatment. If you are in this situation, the ODG can make it easier to resolve this dispute. 

Consider the soft tissue injury example from above. Let’s say the insurance company does not believe it needs to be treated, but you believe it does. The ODG is the standard of reference in workers’ compensation cases. So, if the ODG recommends medical treatment for your injury, this could prove the insurance company wrong and put an end to your dispute.

Have you been injured in the workplace? Turn to the trusted attorneys at Armstrong & Vaught, P.L.C. for help. We have years of experience helping injured workers recover the workers’ compensation they deserve. Let us fight to maximize your benefits. Call us now at 918-582-2500, toll free at (800) 722-8880, or contact us online for a free consultation with a skilled attorney.