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  1. #1
    fishman Guest

    Default Figuring Out What To Do Next

    I have written in about this before. I hurt my knee in a fall at construction work in Oregon, got it looked at right away, in due time had arthroscopic surgery. SAIF took care of things, physical therapy, work hardening therapy, doctor visits, medicine, and all that. My employer found me light duty work for most of a year until I was declared medically stable and finally laid me off as I expected. It's construction, it's never permanent.

    So I got first an award of $19,000 to be paid in installments for my permanent partial disability. Then I had to choose between a settlement right away or trying to get retrained for new work since I can't do what I used to. I chose the training.

    I retained a lawyer and he referred me to his favorite voc rehab person. I filled out questionnaires and took a test, and picked some jobs I thought I could train for. The voc rehab lady I expected to follow up on that since I believe that's her job.

    I haven't heard much of anything from the lawyer since the beginning when we set things up. I expected to hear from the voc rehab lady but nothing until recently when she told me I should have already taken college placement tests at a local jr college, after all this time now she says this? And I have been bad with a lingering flu thing that makes me dizzy and plugs up my ears, which makes it hard for me to think and concentrate. Why not have me take the test sooner? I just heard from my lawyer's assistant, not the lawyer, saying I should settle for the first low amount SAIF offered. (My lawyer had told me before he thought a much bigger amount.) She said the lawyer wasn't there. I said no, you aren't my lawyer, what are you doing trying to negotiate for me, I hired the lawyer for that. Now when I try to call the office she hangs up on me.

    Now I just got a letter from SAIF saying there has been nothing happening for 90 days and there will be a meeting between SAIF, voc rehab, me and lawyer? But when I called the SAIF lady she said I "wasn't in trouble". What does that mean? Do I need a new lawyer and/or voc rehab? Am I sunk? Am I about to get screwed?

  2. #2
    knowknees Guest

    Default

    I wish you would of posted this before you accepted the Voc-Rehab that is run by the State. There are some very disturbing issues pertaining to both, at least where I live. (IMO) You are better served to seek employment within your restrictions on your own. Many states used to offer Voc.Re-Hab. free through your employer if injured enough and unable to return to your previous job. You would also receive monies while being retrained, to survive. Not where I live, anymore. Better off trying on your own. These sweeping W/C Reform Laws are getting the IW involved in Voc-Rehab., which is good. Unless you are going to end up paying your former ER BACK for the training, due to their NEGLIGENCE. In many states this does not affect your W/C "settlement", but in others it does.

    Why would a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor be so concerned how you are paying for your medication? When you've told them you've got that covered? Why would a Voc-Re-Hab Counselor need to send you to THEIR Specialist, when other Specialist (Surgeons in Orthopedics) have stated over and over you need retraining? If your W/C Surgeon says you CANNOT perform your old job, or any job you've done in the past 15 years, what more would they need? Call me paranoid but I'll take my chances...Greg

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