My WC case is in maryland. I have a few questions that I wanted to ask.
Background; I am currently waiting on a court date, I have passed MMI for the physical injury, but I am still under psych treatment. My Dr. rated me physically for a back injury at 47% whole body. I did 1 year of job searches under voc rehab. Throughout the year I did the job searches I continually requested the councilor opt for retraining, due to my previous earnings of approx $25 an hour not coming anywhere close to the $7-10 an hour that he was having me apply for. I complied the entire time with the job searches, and throughout the year they kept talking about retraining, but when the job search plan expired, would just extend it again, dangling retraining like a carrot. Oct 2009 they ended Voc rehab, while am still unemployed, and cut my AWW payments. The IC atty has requested that I initiate a settlement discussion, which I made an offer for Voc Rehab, but not to close out settlement.
My questions are;
1. I Had long term disability insurance before I was hurt, I didn't file a claim at the time, because it was being handled under WC. Do you know if it's possible to open a LTD claim to cover periods that the IC doesn't pay due to MMI / Voc rehab ending? I am also worried since its been 4 years since my initial injury if I would even be able to file a claim this late in the game.
2. I know that the Maryland statues limit Voc Rehab to 24 months of retraining. With unlimited time allowed to job search. If I am granted continued voc rehab by the court when I go to the hearing, will they be liable to pay for the duration between them cutting off my VR in October until april (when I go to court) if a year of job searches left me still unemployed?
3. If the court grants me the 24 months of retraining I am asking for, can I settle the Voc rehab portion with the IC after it's court ordered? or does a settlement have to be negotiated prior to a ruling? (I ask this because I REALLY dont want a Voc Rehab counselor breathing down my neck for 2 years while I attend schooling).
Thanks for the help, and good luck to you all.