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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11

    Question WC Shoulder Injury

    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: CA
    Greetings,
    I work in a warehouse: pushing, pulling, and lifting items. These tasks vary from lifting 1-60lb boxes overhead and pulling thousands of lbs of product on pallet jacks 8 hours a day all day. Unfortunately in July 08 I injured my right shoulder and lower back. I filed a WC with my company and everything was fine. I went to all the PT treatments and had several shots to try and cure my "shoulder sprain" as they called it. But when nothing worked the Doctor advised me to have shoulder surgery(subacromial decompression). I opted for it since the pain was intolerable and was looking for anything to help. Well I had surgery in late November and i'm still under Doctors restrictions. I can go back to work, but my job does not want me to come back until I have no restrictions at all. To this day I'm having persistent pain in my shoulder and lifting anything above my chest is excruciating. I KNOW I can not do the things at work I used to do prior to my injury. I also know that once I'm released off of WC I'll probably be let go for not being able to do warehouse work. The shoulder isnt showing any improvement at all! My question is what should I do? I did recently hire a WC Attorney, but he was quite vague in his explanations; he basically took my paperwork and said he'd contact me after my next doctors visit. Anyways, I was thinking about the "Supplemental Job Displacement" program, would I qualify? And if I'm let go due to the inability to perform my current job, do I qualify for unemployment? Also when does the "settlement" usually happen? And does anybody know what the $ ball park figure of this kind of settlement? Does WC cover medications for problems like anxiety and persistent pain incurred from the injury? I'm just trying to take preemptive measures in case I get the boot. Thanks everybody

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,108

    Default Re: WC Shoulder Injury

    read the fact sheets on pd
    http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/iwguides.html
    yes you will likely have pd and if your estimate is correct will not be given modified work.
    yes you should file with unemployment asap before your qualifying quarters have expired.
    settlements require a disability rating.
    yes they can provide treatment for conditions caused by the injury.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
    Posts
    20

    Default Re: WC Shoulder Injury

    Sorry to hear what you are going through…. I had two resections (subacromial decompressions) with a Dr. that WC picked. He released me back to work with NO restrictions. I went back to work and did my best until I was able to get my own second opinion. It was discovered that I had an unstable clavicle. Google unstable clavicle after distal clavicle resection. My shoulder has been tied together with wires. My Dr. told me that a Dr. Kirk Jensen in CA (san fran area) is probably the leading Dr. in this area. I’m from Michigan. Good luck My employer terminated my job two weeks after I had the three hour surgery to stabilize the clavicle. Get answers do not even think settlement until you know what is wrong…….

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Posts
    38

    Default Re: WC Shoulder Injury

    WC doctors misdiagnosed my right shoulder injury for about 2 years. When injections would not work, I went to my own dr. He said I needed surgery. All they saw on the MRI was some tears in my rotary cuff. When the dr. operated, he had to CUT my clavical bone, which had NO cartiledge left and had tore up my rotary cuff completely. The bursac had to be removed completely due to such disrepair. Then, my rotary cuff was sewn up all around. I was immobilized for nearly 3 months. I was in such pain but luckily I had a great surgeon. Unfortunately he is biased towards ic but the surgery at least took my pain away-mostly.

    So much for wc doctors. They all told me the pain was in my head--that it was psychological. Well, I had dislocated my shoulder in 2003 and worked that way for almost 3 years. That's why my shoulder was in such disrepair.
    Why does it have to be this way?

    I feel for your pain.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2009
    Posts
    11

    Default Re: WC Shoulder Injury

    my current employer has no position available other than warehouse manual labor work. My question is what should I do in this situation? My shoulder is in no shape(permanently) to grind out 8hr days of heavy labor. I dont want to be fired, therefore i would not be qualified for unemployment. Dont get me wrong, i love the company I work for, but I also have to make ends meet. And unfortunately I'm lacking a BA, so I do not have many choices in work options. I'm a regular guy just trying to live and this injury has hindered me from almost all type work that I'm experienced in. Is there any options out there for me ?

    thanks again

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,017

    Default Re: WC Shoulder Injury

    I was thinking about the "Supplemental Job Displacement" program, would I qualify? And if I'm let go due to the inability to perform my current job, do I qualify for unemployment?
    Your eligibility for a SJDV is dependant on your final PD/WPI rating (for the dollar amount) and the ability of your ER to provide a 'reasonable acommodation' to any restrictions due to your injury.

    The code requires your ER to make a valid job offer within 60 days of your PTP determination of your status...P&S/MMI. If there is no modified/alternative work offered you, then you could be eligible for the 15% increase in your PD indemnity.

    If a offer to RTW is made, and you decline, then the 15% comes off the top of your award/PD.
    4658(3) (A) If, within 60 days of a disability becoming permanent and
    stationary, an employer offers the injured employee regular work,
    modified work, or alternative work, in the form and manner prescribed
    by the administrative director, for a period of at least 12 months,
    and regardless of whether the injured employee accepts or rejects the
    offer, each disability payment remaining to be paid to the injured
    employee from the date the offer was made shall be paid in accordance
    with paragraph (1) and decreased by 15 percent.
    (B) If the regular work, modified work, or alternative work is
    terminated by the employer before the end of the period for which
    disability payments are due the injured employee, the amount of each
    of the remaining disability payments shall be paid in accordance with
    paragraph (1) and increased by 15 percent. An employee who
    voluntarily terminates employment shall not be eligible for payment
    under this subparagraph. This paragraph shall not apply to an
    employer that employs fewer than 50 employees.
    more information on this is here...http://www.leginfo.ca.gov/cgi-bin/di...file=4650-4664

    If you are unable to RTW because there is no reasonable acommodation made by your ER...you would be eligible for UI benefits. You should make application for SDI/UI benefits now to protect your date of entitlement and quarters of reported base wages.

    I can go back to work, but my job does not want me to come back until I have no restrictions at all.
    Federal rules here will override your ER's ''wishes'', the law requires the ER make a reasonable acommodation if possible, and CA laws require them to show a financial hardship if they can't do so.

    Also when does the "settlement" usually happen? And does anybody know what the $ ball park figure of this kind of settlement?
    You won't hear about settlement offers until you have reach P&S/MMI and a rating issues. At that point, there will be an MSC/Mandatory Settlement Conference called by one of the parties, this is done to determine if discovery is complete, any informal settlement is possible, or if necessay a trial will be put on calendar.
    An informal settlement would be a Stipulation w/Award, or a C&R to resolve all issues in your claim.

    The value of your 'award' or PD indemntiy is based on that PD/WPI rating, so until that is complete, there is no realistic way to determine your $ value.
    THere would also be the consideration of future medical treatment, and a value to what that may consist of.

    Does WC cover medications for problems like anxiety and persistent pain incurred from the injury?
    Treatment/medications are considered based on a request made by your PTP. The ACOEM/MTUS/EBM guides govern treatment, and the UR process is done for a review to medical necessity. So just because your PTP writes a Rx for medication, doesn't mean it will automatically be provided.
    IF you settle your claim by a lump sum payment... any additional treatment/medication would be out of your pocket.

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