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Thread: Doctor Release

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    Default Doctor Release

    Doctors Release
    My workers compensation claim was made in the State of: Oregon

    I have been on Work Comp since October 14th ,2010 when I crushed my right fing finger between a machine at work and a piece of steel. Work Comp has been late on almost every check and when this check was 8 days late , I got worried. I called my lawyer today and she said she would put in a call to the adjuster. After speaking with the adjuster , she calls to tell me that the adjuster said she had spoke to MY doctor and that I was released back to full duty on my last doctors visit , April 5th , 2011. I was not given any papers saying I was released NOR did my doctor mentiion being released. Not only did she say I was released , she stated that my doctor said I was released to FULL duty work . I havent even been released to LIGHT duty as far as I know. Shouldnt I be told that by my doctor , or shouldnt I recieve some type of paperwork saying I was released to FULL duty? My doctor spoke about exploring two different surgery options on my last visit and never mentioned a release to work. I am still in therapy twice a week and we havent even started working on strengthening yet. My therapist has told me that I shouldnt even be lifting a 12 pack of cokes. Im not sure whats going on. If my doctor DID in fact release me , shouldnt he have given me papers stating my release to full duty? Shouldnt I have signed something? Shouldnt I have AT LEAST been told that I was being released? Why are my therapist and my doctor not on the same pages? Im so confused and Im not sure what to do. I dont think Im ready to return to work based on the strength of my hand after the injury , but if I was released on April 5th , I should have known then so I could have returned to work! Im barely 8 weeks removed from my last surgery. It would be greatly appreciated if someone could help me make sense of all of this. Thank you so much in advance!

    To give a little background on my injury , here is the link(on this forum) to my injury thread . http://www.workerscompensationinsura...-Tendon-Injury
    Last edited by Awilliamson19; 05-06-2011 at 02:14 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
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    Default Re: Doctor Release

    Without having access to the file, hard to tell what exactly the release is...
    You could be released to "full duty", but that depends on what your job duties are... or, to a light duty job. Because one hand is injured, doesn't mean you can't function in some capacity at work with the other....sedentary jobs are often provided prior to a full release.

    The CA will take any Dr report that says you are no longer "ttd" temp total disabled...your Dr controls any restrictions, or RX for PT, not the therapist.
    Temp Total Disability stops when you are released to return to work, there may be temp partial disabilty benefits paid if you continue to suffer wage loss...
    You dont' have to sign anything when you are released to return to work.
    \
    Your atty should be able to provide specific answers to your questions...message board is generic at best.

    All the "should have's'"... not necessarily. WC moves slow, and in strange ways sometimes.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    15

    Default Re: Doctor Release

    My attorney doesnt really know whats going on either.He has contacted WC to get the release papers stating that I was released back to work.

    So , you're teling me that my doctor doesnt have to tell me that Im released back to work? He has the right to release me for me to find out a month later like this? Something just doesnt seem right here. I feel like Im being worked over here. If I was released April 5th , 2011 AT my doctors visit , why wouldnt he tell me? I mean , the guy never gives me much time , but really , that is ridiculous. I recieved a check on April 18th which was after my supposed release date.. Why would I have recieved that check if I was released on April 5th and they just now decide to cut my check off?

    I understand my doctor controls any restrictions , but should my therapist and he be on the same page at least? Im seeing my therepist 3 times a week and my doctor once every six weeks.. Something tells me the two should communicate to at least help my doctor decide what the condition of the tendon is. He knows nothing more than what he saw for five minutes in a visit , he knows nothing about the strength of the hand of finger . he only knows how it looks.

    Something is wrong with this whole picture. It just doesnt seem right that my doctor would, or have the right , to release me back to FULL duty without letting me know?

    My job duties at the time of the injury was hard labor. I worked in a steel mill and at any given time was picking up pieces of steel between 30-50 pounds.

    AND , If i was released to full duty , why would he want to see my in six weeks and to continue with physical therapy? I just dont get it all.. Anyway, thanks for your help.
    Last edited by Awilliamson19; 05-06-2011 at 02:26 PM.

  4. #4
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    Location
    Calif
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    Default Re: Doctor Release

    So , you're teling me that my doctor doesnt have to tell me that Im released back to work? He has the right to release me for me to find out a month later like this?
    Dr probably should have discussed this with you...but it's not unusual for the CA to call and speak with a Dr, see if there is possibility of return to work... that's the goal in WC... return to work, ER's pay wages, IC's pay benefits. The sooner you are offer disability, the less money in disability benefits are due, and the more productive you are to your ER.

    You have a lot of "whys" here...but if your atty can't give you a specific answer, there is no way anyone on a message board can... boards are generic info at best.
    Why would I have recieved that check if I was released on April 5th and they just now decide to cut my check off?
    Probably takes that long for the paperwork to catch up.

    The goal in comp is stability, MMI/Max Med Improvement, that doesn't mean no more treatment, only that you are capable of performing some type of gainful employment, whether that is preinjury job, same ER or elsewhere, doesn't matter.

    WC isn't about rights, yours or your Dr, it's about your ER liability for providing medical care to your injury, the minimim medically necessary, and wage replacement while you treat/recover from the injury. You may be able to return to work in a different capacity while you complete the recovery process.
    WC benefits don't go on forever, at some point...you are going to be released, and that's likely going to be sooner than you may think is appropriate.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
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    15

    Default Re: Doctor Release

    So , if I'm released to work , does that mean I've reached MMI or that Im really close to MMI? Because I havent heard anything about that. There is just alot of shady shit going on with my case that I dont like. Maybe I should consult a different lawyer? I never speak with my lawyer , just his legal assistants.. I feel like something is going on behind closed doors and its gonna end up screwing me in the end. I wanna know everything thats going.

    I dont know much , but I do know that I have EVERY RIGHT to know when IM released to work. I shouldnt have to find out thru my lawyer via my CA. My doctor should tell me and give me papers releasing me. I recieved papers after each surgery saying that I was not released to work and I had restrictions. It makes perfect sense to think that if I was released to work they would release me with papers and let me know. Today is May 6th , and I was supposedly released April 5th. Thats one month I could have been working if I was released. Someone has to be held responsible for this.

    I will state this. I , in no way , think that I amm ready to return to work. Im not saying I would fight it if the doctor has released me , I would gladly return to work to make more money. I dont think its in my best interest though with my finger not being completely healed or the problems Im having with my shoulder and back..

    Thank you again for all of your help and your answers. At this point , generic info is better than no info. So , thank you.

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
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    Calif
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    Default Re: Doctor Release

    You probably wouldn't find another atty to take this claim over at this point... too far along
    Have you made an attempt to contact your Dr to find out what has transpired ?
    I never speak with my lawyer , just his legal assistants.. I feel like something is going on behind closed doors and its gonna end up screwing me in the end. I wanna know everything thats going.
    There is no benefit or incentive for your atty to "screw you over"... any fee would be based on your indemnity award, if any. And that is based on permenant impairment due to the injury.
    I will state this. I , in no way , think that I amm ready to return to work
    As I said before. If you are capable of even sedentary work, and your ER can provide the light duty or modified work, you would be expected to do that...even though it's not the same job as pre injury.
    If you are having symptom of injury other than what you claimed at first, you need to discuss that with your Dr, and get those body parts accepted as compensable in the claim. Otherwise, you won't be provided medical care... your shoulder/arm you said. (?)

    Its not unusual to only speak with a paralegal... AA/Applicant Attys take 100's of IW/claims, there is no up front retainer/cash paid, the system can take a significant amount of time, and the fees are much lower than what a defense/ER atty would be paid.

    While your AA is not required to educate you in the process...that's why you have an AA to begin with...to represent you and handle disputed issues, if you want a face to face, or phone conversation, make an appt. Write down all of your concerns before you meet.
    The problem with IW's calling the office is the basic question is "-hows my claim coming", or "where is my check"... when there is no immediate answer...they get pissed and threaten to get another atty. You can see where the difficulty lies.
    If you haven't already, spend some time here http://egov.oregon.gov/DCBS/wcd_info.shtml, and educate yourself on the WC process in OR. Interesting reading for all IW's.

  7. #7
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    Dec 2010
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    15

    Default Re: Doctor Release

    After three days of phone calls and waiting , it seems as if this mess is finally worked out.. My doctor didnt release me to full duty and it was nowhere in writing that I was even released to LIGHT duty like my CA had stated in the phone call to my Attorney last week. Turns out , The CA had got my doctor to state VERBALLY that I was released to light duty so she stopped my benefits. After talking with the doctor about everything , I learned I was released to light duty with NO use at all with my right hand. I contacted my employer only to find out that they could not accomodate for the light duty work and they told me that my benefits should be reinstated immediately , so I passed this on to my lawyer. My lawyer hasnt heard from the CA yet , but has sent a fax and mailed a letter letting them know that I was only released to light duty and that my employer couldnt accomodate for that , to please reinstate my benefits immediately. Thank you guys for keeping me sane over the weekend and I will gladly keep you both updated in this thread and my other thread as this 'saga' continues.

    BvIA , you said the goal is to return to gainful employment. I do have one question. My lawyer and employer stated that WC by law still has to send my TTD checks since I cant return to work to my employer. Above you said that it doesnt matter if its the same ER or not . Should I be filling out applications in the meantime to grocery stores(etc) to show that I am attempting to return to 'gainful employment' ? Would this help me in the long run. I understand from reading through these forums , They want to see an attempt from the worker to return to some kind of work at some point. Im pretty sure no company would hire me at this point being able to only work with ONE arm , but at the very least , I could attempt and if WC or my CA tried anything else like I this I could at least say I have been filling out apps trying to return to work?

    Just looking for an opinion or some advice.. I understand it would be best to consult my attorney about this.

  8. #8
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    Feb 2007
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    Calif
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    Default Re: Doctor Release

    My lawyer and employer stated that WC by law still has to send my TTD checks since I cant return to work to my employer. Above you said that it doesnt matter if its the same ER or not
    yes, TTD is due as long as "disability" exists...(unless there is a statutory cap)
    Once you are stable, and your Dr releases you to return to work...MMI/Max Med Improvement has been reached...you are presumed able to return to work...and that doesn't matter whether it's the pre injury ER or not.
    The ER/IC is required to pay benefits ...medical care, wage replacement while you cannot work due to the injury, you are TTD.
    Once released, you are no longer TTD, and PPD indemnity benefits may be due based on a rating.

    Some states do require the IW to seek employment once MMI, as there may be benefits paid for wage loss, or wage differential. You aren't required to make any application in the status you are in now... TTD, you can't work, even if offered employment elsewhere, and are not required to. You are correct in no other ER being willing to offer you a job with an open comp claim...that would leave them liable for reinjury.

    Talk to your atty... your TTD should be reinstated now.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Location
    hillsboro
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    4

    Default Re: Doctor Release

    Quote Quoting Awilliamson19 View Post
    My attorney doesnt really know whats going on either.He has contacted WC to get the release papers stating that I was released back to work.

    So , you're teling me that my doctor doesnt have to tell me that Im released back to work? He has the right to release me for me to find out a month later like this? Something just doesnt seem right here. I feel like Im being worked over here. If I was released April 5th , 2011 AT my doctors visit , why wouldnt he tell me? I mean , the guy never gives me much time , but really , that is ridiculous. I recieved a check on April 18th which was after my supposed release date.. Why would I have recieved that check if I was released on April 5th and they just now decide to cut my check off?

    I understand my doctor controls any restrictions , but should my therapist and he be on the same page at least? Im seeing my therepist 3 times a week and my doctor once every six weeks.. Something tells me the two should communicate to at least help my doctor decide what the condition of the tendon is. He knows nothing more than what he saw for five minutes in a visit , he knows nothing about the strength of the hand of finger . he only knows how it looks.

    Something is wrong with this whole picture. It just doesnt seem right that my doctor would, or have the right , to release me back to FULL duty without letting me know?

    My job duties at the time of the injury was hard labor. I worked in a steel mill and at any given time was picking up pieces of steel between 30-50 pounds.

    AND , If i was released to full duty , why would he want to see my in six weeks and to continue with physical therapy? I just dont get it all.. Anyway, thanks for your help.


    That happened to me too. My work called and said my dr released me to light duty, but I Thought that was odd and checked into it further. SAIF lied my dr never released me, and they tried this twice on me. They are evil, dirty government run idiots. My dr was very upset that they used her name so freely and fraudently.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Dec 2010
    Posts
    15

    Default Re: Doctor Release

    Yeah , the thing is , my employer knew nothing of the release. My CA never told ANYONE that I had been released to any kind of work untill my lawyer called asking about my checks. We got it all straightened out last week and my employer said they couldnt accomodate for my light duty work. My lawyer put in a call last tuesday saying that my checks should be reinstated with some kind of penalty for being late and cutting them off completely , and here it is 6 days later and STILL no check. It gets so frustrating dealing with all of this stuff. GRRRR.


    Thanks for all of the help and opinions from you guys. Keeps me from going crazy!

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