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  1. #1
    rce Guest

    Default Returning to Work After Injury

    Starting 1/1/04, my PCP will be releasing me to full duty without restrictions and advised that if need be he can put me back to a restricted schedule and request Voc Rehab. My question is this... my employer only offers positions where my condition will be exacerbated. I decided to return to school next semester to train for a new job already. Can I be terminated from my employer if there are no matches? Also, my claim has been fairly clean; should I negotiate for future medical on my own or retain an attorney? Work comp has also been paying me my 2/3 of lost wages... should I try to request compensation for the 1/3 lost as well? Will they pay me?

  2. #2
    sbh Guest

    Default

    If you are able to work full duties then there is no issue. If you find you are actually unable to perform your duties you need to return to the doctor and advise him of what you are unable to do. He may then outline work restrictions. If these work restrictions preclude you from your original job and if your employer can't find you another position that meets your new restrictions then you would be eligible for Voc rehab.
    As far as future medical what does your doctor say you need?
    W/C only pays upto 2/3 lost wages you won't get compensation for the other 1/3.

  3. #3
    rce Guest

    Default

    Thanks for the info. However, I just found out that my employer set up a meeting next Monday to go over my job description. My manager says that the company is trying to close my case and offer me a settlement. My doctor hasn't released me yet, can they do that? Also, a relative says that it's probably because the new legislation is going into effect 01/01/04 and they want to release liability before the deadline. Any insight? Advice? Thanks.

  4. #4
    sbh Guest

    Default

    I think a meeting w/o a doctor's report outlining restrictions is premature. How are they going to figure out what you can do without that report?
    The new legislation won't affect anything as far as your case goes. It only applies to injury claims that occur after 1/1/04.
    Basically you need your doctor's P&S report before accomodation at work can be addressed.
    If an employer offers you modified work that meets specific criteria can they avoid you going into voc rehab.
    The criteria for any modified job:
    1) It must last for one year. It also must be a actual job category not a non-existant one created just to avoid voc rehab liability.
    2) Wages must be at least 85% of preinjury earnings. So if you were being paid $400.00 per week at time of injury the new job would have to pay you 85% of that per week ($340.00).
    3) You must be physically able to perform that job. This is where the doctor's report is critical.
    Whatever job they put you in make sure you keep a notebook noting any problems. Such as the job makes me sit for 8 hours a day but I have problems sitting after X amount of time, etc.
    If you have more specific questions you can contact me directly at injuredworker99@yahoo.com

  5. #5
    sbh Guest

    Default

    I should add that there are very specific steps that an employer has to follow in offering alternative/modified work.
    Any offer has to be made in writing. It must also include a job description. You have 30 days to review the offer and you can dispute the offer based on any of the 3 issues above. #1 & #2 would involve litigation, #3 would be resolved by providing the job description (and your comments as to why it's not workable) to the treating physician for his comments.

  6. #6
    sbh Guest

    Default

    I should add that there are very specific steps that an employer has to follow in offering alternative/modified work.
    Any offer has to be made in writing. It must also include a job description. You have 30 days to review the offer and you can dispute the offer based on any of the 3 issues above. #1 & #2 would involve litigation, #3 would be resolved by providing the job description (and your comments as to why it's not workable) to the treating physician for his comments.

  7. #7
    rce Guest

    Default

    thanks for the information, SBH, I really appreciate it. I just had a meeting with my employer for job description. No offer made yet, they're sending a copy to my PCP. I'll keep you updated. Thanks a bunch.

  8. #8
    sbh Guest

    Default

    You're welcome. You can also contact me directly if you like. I'm trying to utilize my knowledge to help injured workers. I'm a volunteer via Voices which is a non-profit organization that I'm helping out with. It's a an advocacy group to aid injured workers with info etc. We hope to be able to have some impact on legislation in the future to prevent injured workers from getting screwed via the Schwarzenagger proposals. We can use more members. We need active members and also members who just sign up to show that they support what we are doing.
    The Voices california website:
    http://hometown.aol.com/V1BEST/index.html

  9. #9
    rce Guest

    Default

    I went to see my PCP after work, same day as the job description overview. Because I am pursuing a career in nursing, since I can't type for the rest of my life, my PCP recommends that I simply "get better" to avoid having any TD or PD haunt my future chances of being an RN. I am already employed by a major Healthcare Organization and they will be fully aware of any disability I may have had, especially if due to work injury. My options are to take a very small settlement and Voc Rehab (which I cannot afford to take) or to suck it up and magically "get better". I tell you, I was so upset and distraught last night, I cried for hours. My husband doesn't know what to say at this point to console me. I just don't know how I will deal with the pain at full duty/without restrictions and supposedly get better just so I can salvage my future. Doesn't seem fair... but thanks again SBH; we're lucky to have posters like you around. I will definately check out Voices and if I can contribute in any way, I will. Please feel free to provide me any advice along the way... I'll be checking often.

  10. #10
    alaska Guest

    Default

    RCE an RN is a most saught after position to fill. You do not have to seek employment with the crummy employer who will not understand now. The opportunities are endless. Have you ever thought of being a school nurse? However, they have cut back on those positions. What I am saying is that there are endless possibilites in nursing.

    However, nursing is also a job where fine hand manipulation and lifting are almost always envolved. Administrative positions usually go to those who come off the floor from case management postions. But that does not mean a nursing career is not for you. What I am saying is be sure you can do this type of job.

    You struck my heart with your story. I have crossed your bridge many times. What I have found is that is does no good to look and wish, but to move on, with what one can use, with what is left. It is up to you to find it. No one can find that one bridge except you.

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