This is something from a previous post:
Saturday, May 20, 2006 - 02:30 am I have written in about this before. I hurt my knee in a fall at construction work in Oregon, got it looked at right away, in due time had arthroscopic surgery. SAIF took care of things, physical therapy, work hardening therapy, doctor visits, medicine, and all that. My employer found me light duty work for most of a year until I was declared medically stable and finally laid me off as I expected. It's construction, it's never permanent.
So I got first an award of $19,000 to be paid in installments for my permanent partial disability. Then I had to choose between a settlement right away or trying to get retrained for new work since I can't do what I used to. I chose the training.
I retained a lawyer and he referred me to his favorite voc rehab person. I filled out questionnaires and took a test, and picked some jobs I thought I could train for. The voc rehab lady I expected to follow up on that since I believe that's her job.
I haven't heard much of anything from the lawyer since the beginning when we set things up. I expected to hear from the voc rehab lady but nothing until recently when she told me I should have already taken college placement tests at a local jr college, after all this time now she says this? And I have been bad with a lingering flu thing that makes me dizzy and plugs up my ears, which makes it hard for me to think and concentrate. Why not have me take the test sooner? I just heard from my lawyer's assistant, not the lawyer, saying I should settle for the first low amount SAIF offered. (My lawyer had told me before he thought a much bigger amount.) She said the lawyer wasn't there. I said no, you aren't my lawyer, what are you doing trying to negotiate for me, I hired the lawyer for that. Now when I try to call the office she hangs up on me.
Now I just got a letter from SAIF saying there has been nothing happening for 90 days and there will be a meeting between SAIF, voc rehab, me and lawyer? But when I called the SAIF lady she said I "wasn't in trouble". What does that mean? Do I need a new lawyer and/or voc rehab? Am I sunk? Am I about to get screwed?
Here's my question:
We had the phone meeting and I was supposed to take a test at the college. Then I got a letter from my lawyer that I could take a settlement for $20,000 (original offer was $15,000) or go directly to training, my choice, but he recommended the settlement. After thinking and considering I decided to go for the settlement.
I just got papers for me to sign and looking at the fine print got me concerned. There's some general information included with it that says taking a settlement may stop payments on any disability money I am already getting. Naturally I don't like that, if it means what I think it means. I still have about $16,000 left on the permanent partial disability that has not been paid and I don't want that to go away! I was told by several people at the beginning of this money phase, including my lawyer, that a settlement would have nothing to do with that disability award. You can see why I'm confused.
I plan to call the WC ombudsman's office Monday to ask about it. But I would like to know if anyone has experience with this or has any suggestions.