Hi Everybody - My injury was in the state of CA.
I know its best to try and see if your questions have been answered in a prior post before posting, but I'm having a hard time… I know every case is different so its tough to relate
my situation to anybody else's. I am hoping someone can help me understand the process of whats going on now…
Basically, last year I was knocked off a ladder at work and have been on worker's comp since with pain in my lower back and legs. I was seeing the same primary care doctor for about 9 months, until I asked to switch doctors. Basically, he performed an EMG and MRI at the beginning, when I first saw him, and other than a few "Nerve Root Blocks" he didn't do anything to treat me. The last few months of seeing him were spend with him requesting a new MRI or EMG, only to be continually denied. It got to the point where going to the doctor became more of a burden than anything else because he wasn't able to do anything to treat me. I got tired of that and asked for another opinion and was sent to another doctor. I've seen him three times now. About two months ago (It was reaching the one year mark for my injury), a QME was requested by the worker's comp. His report declared me Permanent and Stationary based of my non-responce to treatment (which I take issue with, the only thing they did to treat me was 3 weeks of physical therapy immediately after the injury and three nerve root blocks to block the pain). He noted future medical treatment. He suggested a new EMG and MRI. He rated my injury at 30% and added 3% for pain, making me 33% disabled with his report. I returned to my new doctor (The one I've been seeing for three months) and he said he agreed with the P&S.
Now my lawyer says I need to file for state disability, which he told me to do early on in the injury but my original doctor wouldn't sign the forms. Lawyer said it has something to do with going back 18 months from the filing date and looking at earning history. That they would deny the claim but when I was finally declared P&S, they would start the claim from the original application date. None the less, that doctor wouldn't sign it so now that my new doctor agrees, I've mailed him the form to sign.
I really don't know what happens next. Will the Worker's Comp check's stop immediately, or is there some kind of period that it'll take to file the report with the doctors and a warning letter from workman's comp saying that they cut off the check? I was getting close to $1,000 a week from workman's comp, but am told that the state disability is around $250 a week. Am I guaranteed that amount or is it based off those 18 months? I am very confused. When do those checks start? Is there a way to get additional money? Living in California, I can't pay my rent off $250 a week. How long does it take for a "settlement" offer or hearing to begin? How long til I see that money?
I also read something about my company having to offer me work based on my "work restrictions" that the doctor listed… I work in the film industry and am basically an independent contractor. The way it works is you're hired by a production company that is specifically formed to produce a movie… and once that movie finishes filming, the company that produced the film closes. So I don't think there is anyway that company can be held to offer me work. How does that affect me?
Any explanation you can give me will help. My lawyer explained it some but I am still very confused.