Arkansas Worker's Compensation - Help For Injured Arkansas Workers

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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    5

    Default Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    HELP
    I am new to here and after 9 years insurance wants to settle on claim. I have back injury, 3 ruptured disk, nerve damage etc. They are offering $30,000 future medical, no lost wages and 10% disability without a doctor doing it. Is this legal? without a doctor rating.

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

    Default Re: Arkansas WC Settle After 9 Years

    it's legal to make an offer.
    the law doesn't require a doctor rating before making a settlement offer.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    me again,
    well after I wrote that they called me again. They say the 10% whole body is really good, the $30ths is for my medicine for the next 4 1/2 years and now $6000 for is for the 10% rating. Even though the doctor has taken me off work since 2000 and refuses to release me to go to work. He says he does not want to be responsible for future injuries. They waited to long to ok any surgery and now it is impossible to give me any hope. I have also filed for ssi and it is now in federal court. If i accept this offer will it hurt or help my ssi case? just wondering.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug 2009
    Posts
    7

    Thumbs up Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    You will need to do research on your injury(s). What treatment have you had thus far, has it helped and what else can be done. Spinal injuries are unique to each of us, one type of treatment will help me,.. but not you,etc.
    Remember, in this day and age, new treatments are on the horizon; and stem cell research/treatment is just beginning. So in your own interest and well beiing, do not give up hope - ever!
    You should be given a disability rating, or ratings. This can be done on one or more parts of the body and injured areas. One area may have multiple ratings. Golly gee, it will get complicated! (Nolo Press puts out a book on Workmans Compensation - easy to read and understand.)
    Once you have discovered your ratings, you will realize their offer is very small., very small indeed.
    I had a WC case that went on over ten years. I fired my attorney twice and settled it on my own (basically on pure stubborness) the settlement
    was amazing for 1988, plus I had future medical. I believe they just wanted me out of their hair.
    This WC system is a pain. The more you know, the better you will do.
    "Knowledge is Power!" Don't ever settle for less than you, your well being and your life is worth!
    This site has great information, empower yourself, dig in for a long(er) haul and come out on top a winner!

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    Before you enter into ANY negotiation for settlement of this claim, you should be asked to sign a rerlease of information for your SSA records/status.

    That you have made application for SSDI/SSI, you would be Medicare eligible within 30 months of a settlement that closes the medical liability of the carrier.
    You may need a WCMSA/setaside arrangement.
    You should not close the medical until you have a MSA proposal submitted to CMS/Medicare for review, and an approval letter telling you how much money is required to fund the account. That entire amount you have been offered could be required for the WCMSA. (?) Leaving you with nothing as indemnity for the injury.

    States differ in how settlements are made, and approved by the WC courts/judge.
    If you don't have an attorney, it would be a good idea to consult a few to discuss the merits of your claim. Doesn't cost anything out of pocket for a consultation...

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    Ok now I am really confused. I filled for ssi/ssd back in 2003 and have been fighting for it ever since. The last attorney I had refused to answer the judges letters, I now know, so the judge denied my last appeal. So I was told to file it in Federal court. I had 30 days and now one in this town would take the case since it was such a mess so I filed the papers myself. So far It has been accepted, I asked for remand of evidence, since so much was left out and not consdiered, and extension of time. Got that and then the attorney I was talking with had a family emergency and cannpt do it so the judge gave me another 30 days. Nov 2nd. So I am trying to do the briefing myself, with help from my family and friends. I am not sure if wc is aware or not but they just keep saying we are going to give you one total check and you can spend it anyway you want and it is not wages so it is not taxed.??? Truthfully I wanted to pay off my house and go get a complete regular physical that I have not had in 9 years because I can't get medicad because I have this partial thing with the insurance. THey only have to pay for the doctor on my injury and medicine due to my injury nothing else.

    sorry i forgot to say I did go see one attorney today and tryied to fill her in but all I got was strange looks and she took lots of notes. She said what do you want me to do. I was so upset by then I just said tell me if its a good deal and I will do it, if its not then tell me if you want the case and she just looked at me and said I'll let you know next week??? I am sorry but my luck with lawyers has been the pits...I am not dumb. I have 3 college degree's but I fall asleep when I am sitting at a stop sign, the doctors think it is the nerve damage is now interfering and my mvp even though not a bad thing doesn't help. Plus last time I had my eye checked 3 times in 3 months they keep saying I have glaucoma and need to see a specialist. I think I just need a whole body transplant... anyone know a good doctor?? haha

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    You appearantly have a complex comp claim, and are making things moreso by combining the WC and SSA/SSDI application.

    Try to keep the two seperate. They are not related, or dependant upon one another.

    If you have new medical reports/information, pertainint to ANYTHING about you... you should provide that to SSA. Its important they have all of your medical records...you work injury alone is not generally enough to qualify for SSDI.

    I am not sure if wc is aware or not but they just keep saying we are going to give you one total check and you can spend it anyway you want and it is not wages so it is not taxed.???
    They/IC wants to close out the medical liability to your injury, and have you pay out of pocket with that lump sum payment. Because you have applied for SSDI, that money can't be used to pay off your house, but must/should be deposited in an interest bearing account and used ONLY for treatment to your work injury. You say the IC is only responsible for your medical and medications/doctor... that is what the lump sum payment is for. You can't use Medicare/Medicade for anything related to your work injury.

    I don't believe anyone is saying or thinking you are dumb. There is only so much an atty can do in some cases. Attys can't tell you to accept a lump sum settlement. You have to make that decision. You should not do that though with out all the facts... so far, it doesn't appear you have those.

    IMHO...you should not take that lump sum of cash for future medical and use it to pay bills/house. That money will also affect your entitlement to SSI... SSI is asset based, they take into consideration ALL of your money/assets. SSDI is entitlement based, like an insurance policy you have paid premiums on. For SSDI, it doesn't matter what your assets are.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    Hi again, Ok I think I confused myself too haha. ok I guess what I was trying to understand is well they said (w/c) that since I didn't get a rating in 2003 when I had reached my healing period that that is why the judge ordered them to pay the medical until we reached a settlement. I have 3 of those function capacity form things 1 from 2000, 2003 and 2006 all different getting worse by the same doctor. They say they are using these to give the 10% rating off of. My question was is this settlement going to show up as working income on my taxes or is it a different income like when my husband died in the middle of all this I received death benefits on him my myself and the kids and it was put in a different bracked so it did not cause me to working income make so much that my children were not knocked off medicad. I thought the 10% part might but the other would not. But If they write a check for 1 lump some it may all go that way. The ssd part I am still trying to figure out the details. I know it will mess up alot of stuff, because even ss said if it is reversed and sent back to court and reheard then they will have to go back 9 years to do back pay and that messes everything up but because of my age I may be able for medical assistance due to the % that w/c gave . That is what is confusing me. I don't know how w/c can except the evaluations for % but not ss. does this make more since?
    thank you for all your help

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    18,011

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    You're confused because you are trying to overlap your work injury and claim with your SSA/SSDI/SSI/Medicade/Medicare issues. They are NOT related in qualifying for those various benefits.

    If you are receiving Medicare/Medicade, You MUST address the potential need of a WCMSA/setaside arrangement.

    IF you are paid a lump sum settlement, you need to be sure the language is such as to minimize any offsets to your SSA benefits.
    My question was is this settlement going to show up as working income on my taxes
    No.
    As a rule, money you receive in a WC claim are not taxable. State/Federal taxes are waived on industrial injury claims.
    Try not to compare the other settlements, or monies you have received to your comp claim/settlement.

    As you have prior work injuries, the amount of PD/permenant disability rating % must be adjusted to reflect only the PD due to THIS injury. The % of PD you suffered from the prior injuries, whether actually rated or not, must be calculated/evaluated by your treating doctors. ie. you are 50% PD/WPI now... but due to prior injuries there is pre exsisting PD of 10%/25% & 5%, making the PD from this injury 10%. You are still 50%PD, but this ER is only liable for 10% so only pays for 10%. It's called apportionment to cause.

    If you try to ask your question, then stop. It would be easier to try and explain. Don't add a ''or is it like...?" That may be where you are confusing yourself. or is it a different income like when my husband died The two are not related.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Oct 2009
    Location
    arkansas
    Posts
    5

    Default Re: Workers Comp Settlemnt After 9 Years

    Hi me again I think I got it figured out. One at a time, think it through. Hard to do when you have these short term memory problems. haha. Ok I did some research on the workerscomp websites on the ratings and how to figure them. My sister helped me, she is a math teacher, thank the lord, and we wrote down the calculations and the diagnosis strictly with my injury, 1 ruptured and 2 bulged disk, disk generation and disk deformation and then added the 3 or more medicines intact, the side effects from medicines, short term memory loss and the kidney problems and did the totals. If we did it right we figured class c, c average 22%. We went with middle numbers not high or low. I submitted a counter offer Thursday to the insurance w/c company and they did not baulk at anything and said she would give me an anser or counter offer Monday. I think this is good, since she did not flat out say NO, so I am assuming she will come up with another offer. Now I feel better and just wait. She also told me that it would be worded as an award or something so that it is only a 1 time payment and not spread out monthly so that this would not hurt me on the other issues. Does it sound like I did a good thing or made it worse?
    thanks for your help.

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