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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    california
    Posts
    110

    Question Back To Work Or Find A New Job

    I injuried my lower back and is on WC a year now. I have a bulge disc. My dr tells me that I don't need surgery at this time also tells me that there is nothing else he can do for me, but he doesn't want to put me permenalty disabled. He basicly told me either go back to work without any restrictions or find a new job. He gave me 3 weeks to decide. I am in the process of looking for an attorney but I was wondering if he can just make me quit my job?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,938

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    The PTP isn't making you 'quit' your job. It's up to you whether you go back to work or find a new job...isn't that what you said he told you...?

    A ''bulging'' disk is admitedly 'painful', but not unusual for much of the working men and women today. A 'bulge' depending on the mm/4-5-6, is considered a 'soft tissue' injury and in many cases will resolve on it's on.
    Have you had any PT or Chiro treatments...?

    If you disagree with your PTP diagnosis, and/or treatment plan, you can get a new PTP, and if the new one offers the same response, based on your 'medical evidence', there are provisions to dispute that as well. First you go to an IME/PQME for resolution of the dispute, If necessary you can go to the WCAB/judge for a determination.

    Have you made application for UI/SDI benefits ?, you should do so now in the event you are off work for another year, you are capped at 104wk/2yrs of TTD and it WILL stop at that time whether you think you are P&S/MMI or not.

    ''...he doesn't want to put me permenalty disabled.''

    Why would you think you'd be 'permenantly disabled' due to a bulging disk...?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Oct 2006
    Posts
    9,073

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    no it's up to you but disability benefits will stop.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    california
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    well I'm not sure how big my bulge is but thats not my main problem. I'm sorry but I should of gave more detail. My bulging causes me leg pains but I also have chronic back pain which is seperate from the disc problem, stated by my dr. He tell's me that he can't do anything for my back pain. I have done PT and chiro but was stoppped bacause of no result. I also received an injection for my disc. it helped my leg pain but nothing for my back pain. I don't think i'm disabled but I was just saying what the dr said. So with the 2 options my dr is giving me, if I don't go back to work will my TTD and medical still continue and will I have to quit my job? Is that really my only 2 options?

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Posts
    550

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    Looks like YOUR TTD IS ENDING in three weeks, my dear.

    You have no Perm Disability according to your Dr, and as Steve pointed out, a bulging disc is very common, so is back pain. Back PAIN IS THE NO 1 REASON for missed work in the US.

    You have to go back to work, at this point. Best wishes.

    LA

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,938

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    Your PTP gave you the options and as you said, 3 weeks to make up your mind...at that point you can expect him to declare you P&S/MMI and your TTD will STOP.
    As you said there are no restrictions, I wouldn't expect too much in a PD/WPI rating...therefore not too much in PD advances either. Which translates to ''no more money''...go back to work.

    OR as I said, change PTP's, get a new doctor to review your situation, and IF you still disagree, get an IME/PQME involved... but again, beware how long this takes..you only get TTD for 104 weeks...period. (well there are some exceptions to the 104 weeks, but it doesn't appear from your information that it would pertain to you)

    if I don't go back to work will my TTD and medical still continue and will I have to quit my job?

    Your doctor gave you choices...you can dispute as I said.
    WC doesn't go on forever, or until YOU decide the outcome of your claim...actually very little of this is in your hands.

    You will retain the medical benefits for life, unless you cash out the future medical by a lump sum payment.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    california
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    Even though I have been on WC for a year now, the first 7 months I was working. I was on modified duty. Well actually I was on regular duty at work because they didn't have any modified duty for me and gave me a choice to work my regular duties or go home, so I tuffed it out. I was just making my condition worse and every other week or so I had to take time off because the pain worsen. So I don't know if I can go back to work because my back is just going to get worst from the work I do.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,938

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    So I don't know if I can go back to work because my back is just going to get worst from the work I do.

    If you are seeing a PTP who is in the ER/IC's MPN (their network of doctors), then choose a NEW PTP and see what he says...as I said before, IF you disagree with a treatment plan, or a diagnosis, there are ways to dispute the issue.

    Taking time off work because your back 'hurts' is not necessarily the right ''treatment'' for an ''aching back''. No one is disputing your back ''hurts'', but like you said, your doctor told you there is no treatment for what ails you at this point. You have no restrictions, no further need for ''reasonably necessary medical treatment'', you choice is to go back to work, or seek a new job. At this point, your ER doesn't even have to make a ''reasonable acommodation'', as there is no medical need.

    I was on modified duty. Well actually I was on regular duty at work because they didn't have any modified duty for me and gave me a choice to work my regular duties or go home, so I tuffed it out.

    Your ER is within the rights to do this. IF you have a restriction to ''light duty'' and the ER has none, you go back to the PTP and have him declare you TTD...it is YOUR responsibility to follow the restrictions...not the ER/employer.

    but I also have chronic back pain which is seperate from the disc problem, stated by my dr. He tell's me that he can't do anything for my back pain.

    and...Did the doctor tell you that this 'condition' is related to your work injury...?
    Have you tried 'Doans Pills' for the chronic back pain...?
    Is it your contention that you should continue to receive TTD benefits now that your doctor has told you there is no treatment plan..? ...at least until you decide to RTW>..?


    SO...you have some decisions to make...
    1) if you disagree with your PTP, get a new one. You can have 3 PTPs from the MPN.
    2) if you still disagree, get a 'med/legal' evaluation through the process in place and let him decide...BUT, IF your current PTP declares you P&S/MMI at your next office visit, your TTD will STOP...even though you dispute the diagnosis and go to a IME/PQME.
    3) If you still don't like the options above...go back to work as your PTP has suggested.

    It's not up to you to make the medical determinatons in your claim...that is for doctors and the dispute resolution process.
    WC benefits are limited in nature and by law. This isn't going to go on (the TTD benefits) for an indeterminate period of time. If your PTP cannot find a basis for an 'industrial injury' you are not entitled to WC benefis.
    The longer you wait to RTW, the more money (earnings) you are going to lose.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    california
    Posts
    110

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    i was going over some documents of mine and I have some notes on my condition that my PTP wrote:

    an MRI of the lumbar spine demonstrated mild disk desiccation at l4-5 and l5-s1. Mild disk bulges were noted at l1-2, l2-3 and l4-5. At l5-s1, there was a disk bulge with right paracentral extrusion contacting the right s1 nerve root. there was minimal facet arthropathy at l3-4, mild facet arthropathy at l4-5 and unspecified bilateral facet hypertrophy at l5-s1.

    i'm not sure what excatly all this mean but maybe someone can explain to me.
    I would like to thank everyone very much for commenting me on my situation. I really don't know much about this but i am learning.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    Calif
    Posts
    17,938

    Default Re: Back To Work Or Find A New Job.

    an MRI of the lumbar spine demonstrated mild disk desiccation at l4-5 and l5-s1. Mild disk bulges were noted at l1-2, l2-3 and l4-5. At l5-s1, there was a disk bulge with right paracentral extrusion contacting the right s1 nerve root. there was minimal facet arthropathy at l3-4, mild facet arthropathy at l4-5 and unspecified bilateral facet hypertrophy at l5-s1.

    See the bold words.. that means you are getting ''old'', and suffering the normal ''ageing'' process. What you suffered as an 'industrial' injury, amounts to ''soft tissue' injury....everyone working in the USA today sufferes this type of ''injury''... and it has been determined through ''current studies'', that bed rest is not the answer....

    Your PTP told you, and he's not ER/IC ''friendly'', that there is nothing more to be done for your condition....you said you went to PT, and had Chiro treatments... all to no avail....
    Do you want to undergo an unsucessful back surgery just to prove (to yourself) that you indeed have a work related injury...?
    And, in doing so, loose all you have worked for all your life...car, home, friends, family... those things will all go away.

    I know your ''back aches''.... being sedentary isn't going to help you one bit.

    But, as I said before... IF you disagree with the doctors diagnosis, and treatment plan... GET A NEW PTP...

    There is no one here who can guess what the doctors orders are or how he intends to handle your case...

    Do you have an attorney...?

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