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  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    3

    Default What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    My workers compensation claim will be made in the State of: Oregon

    To begin with, I have yet to file a disability claim for my current condition, and I am extremely nervous about doing so, as I am currently at work without restriction or accommodation. I have however been through the process of filing a claim for an issue that has since resolved with full recovery and is unrelated to my current problem.

    I had been medically discharged for lumbar spinal injury nearly 20 years ago and was rated at 10% disability. The VA still rates my disability at 10% and they have not altered that rating since the last review about 3 years ago. The condition for which I was discharged is not directly related to the problem I am currently having, but as with all spinal injury, is most likely indirectly related.

    Specifically, I have thoracic arthritic degeneration that is now to the point where I absolutely cannot sleep without pain medication, and have significantly shortened sleep cycles when I do sleep. Normal daily activities are limited by pain, and my continued work, carrying ladders, bending, and maintaining awkward task positioning aggravate my condition. I can often function through the workday, but I pay for it when I get home, as my duties are clearly a cumulative stress.

    I was initially hired to my current position having provided my VA disability status to HR and have only taken limited time off in the past to deal with my bad days, but the bad days are increasingly starting to feel like every day! I have a long history of seeing doctors and a chiropractor on my own for the problem, spanning from my initial military discharge, though I have not seen any in the last 6 months, having a generous prescription for muscle relaxers that offers limited relief when I need them.

    I cannot continue doing my current job, and my employer offers very few local opportunities to accommodate a change of position. There are certainly other activities that I can engage in that do not currently further aggravate my condition. My fear is that I will be forced out of the company on the basis that other work is not available unless I am willing to relocate out of state. (I am not.)

    I want to keep working - but only if I can do so without destroying my quality of life otherwise.

    So, given that I have prior history with the VA, and continue to have a satisfactory performance rating at work with normal duties, where should I go from here?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct 1971
    Posts
    4,995

    Default Re: What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    Casey
    So, given that I have prior history with the VA, and continue to have a satisfactory performance rating at work with normal duties, where should I go from here?
    Sounds like you're undecided.
    Decide if you want to file a claim - then take the necessary steps to do so.
    The first step is to inform the employer - ask them to file Oregon Form 801, Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness

    Filing a claim with your employer
    Tell your employer right away about your injury. Ask your employer for an Oregon Form 801, Worker’s and Employer’s Report of Occupational Injury or Disease/Illness if you want to file a workers’ compensation claim (for medical costs, lost wages, and permanent disability, if any). It is your right to file a workers’ compensation claim. You also have the right to not file a claim. No one else should make these decisions for you.
    http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcd/injur...rt_on_job.html

    Oregon Homepage:
    http://www.cbs.state.or.us/wcd/commu...s/inj_job.html

    It wouldn't hurt to consult a lawyer that specializes in Worker Compensation before acting, the initial consult is free.

    Tony
    Moderator Responses are based on my personal bias, experience and research - They do not represent the views of the admin nor may be accepted in the legal community, always consult an attorney.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    UPDATE: I have now reached the point where I am unable to perform the duties of my current job. I am currently collecting my base pay under the company short term disability insurance and while I have been released to do light duty work, they have none for me, so I am effectively not working at this time.

    While my condition is more or less stable, I have been out of work for a sufficient time that I believe substantial improvement would likely be seen if that possibility existed. I continue to treat with my PCP and go to PT sessions 1-2 times per week, but this seems to be more of a stopgap from further aggravation than a long term solution to recovery.

    I have had a doctor advise me that she thinks I have Ankylosing Spondylitis (AS) and should discontinue activities likely to aggravate the condition. This is NOT part of my regular medical records however, as it was offered up as the supporting diagnosis for a medical marijuana card. I.e., there is no official diagnosis of AS in my regular medical records or with regard to my current work status.

    What I need to know is whether an official diagnosis of AS is likely to cause problems for me with respect to continued treatment and collection of my short term disability benefit as a worker compensation claim. There is zero question that my employment has aggravated my condition, and as I indicated, I am all be certain I will not be able to resume my prior duties.

    Am I at risk of losing my disability benefit because this is considered a prior immunologic condition?

    I don't want to get an attorney. All I really want to do is receive my entitled benefit while I continue to treat and look for alternative employment.
    Last edited by Casey; 12-02-2016 at 08:10 AM.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    587

    Default Re: What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    Quote Quoting Casey View Post

    I don't want get an attorney. All I really want to do is receive my entitled benefit while I continue to treat and look for alternative employment.
    Im sorry this statement makes no sense at all!...............Your so far in over your head, and still want it all..Why do you think they even care?...Your company or any insurance company loves thinking like this.....Just makes there steam roller work so much easier!
    If you dont fight, I know they will......and they will win

  5. #5
    Join Date
    May 2014
    Location
    Oregon
    Posts
    3

    Default Re: What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    While I understand your point, that doesn't answer my question in the slightest. I.e., what good is getting an attorney if my condition can be discounted as prior and potentially bar me from collecting my current disability pay? Am I incorrect to assume that is a risk?

  6. #6
    Join Date
    May 2010
    Posts
    587

    Default Re: What to Do if an Old Injury Interfered With Your Ability to Work

    Quote Quoting Casey View Post
    While I understand your point, that doesn't answer my question in the slightest. I.e., what good is getting an attorney if my condition can be discounted as prior and potentially bar me from collecting my current disability pay? Am I incorrect to assume that is a risk?
    It costs nothing to talk to a WC attorney, and no money up front if you hire him......
    I think its crazy not to be represented because all company use attorneys to fight you at every turn!
    Im sure a simple call to a reputable attorney(workmans comp) will say ya or na...
    I see absolutely no risk on your behalf.

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