In Missouri the employer gets to pick the doctor. That means it only has to pay for the medical treatment it authorizes. You can see any doctor you want at any time, but if it's not authorized
by the employer, they won’t have to pay for it.
Secondly, you get paid money while you're off of work. The term for this is Temporary Total disability or TTD. You get 2/3rds of your average weekly wage, subject to maximums, until you either return to work or you are found to be as good as you're going to get, medically.
Lastly, you may be entitled to some permanent disability. This could be either permanent partial disability or permanent total disability.
Missouri now allows the use of medical cannabis and Illinois legalized recreational use. So how
will that impact my Missouri workers' compensation claim if I test positive after an injury?
The consequences of testing positive in Missouri are severe. The rule is that if you fail a policy
adopted by the employer relating to a drug-free workplace by using nonprescribed controlled
drugs in the work place, your benefits shall be reduced by fifty percent if you test positive
within 24 hour after a work accident. If the employer can show that the use of the drug was a
proximate cause of the injury, your benefits are forfeited. Further, refusal to take the drug test
will also result in your benefits being forfeited.
The employer has to follow strict guidelines for testing, but assuming the testing is conducted
properly, a positive test results is a rebuttable presumption that the drug was used in
conjunction with the accident and trigger a 50% reduction.
So how do the new laws affect this?
Missouri now allows you to get a doctor’s prescription for cannabis, so it is no longer a
“nonprescribed controlled drug”. So the 50% reduction should not apply. However, it is likely
that if you are clearly impaired and under the influence, an argument can be made that it is the
proximate cause of the accident. This would likely still lead to the forfeiture of benefits.
Illinois allows recreational use. However, that is not a prescribed use of the drug which is still
illegal for recreational purposes in Missouri. The likely result is that if you use in Illinois and test
positive after a Missouri accident, the reduction in benefits is likely to still apply.