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Carpal Tunnel Syndrome Message Board
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Old 04-09-2001, 12:18 PM   #1
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barrytrot HB User
Question Workmen's Compensation

I believe that I am developing Carpal Tunnel Syndrome.

I have the symptoms that are listed on the various sites about it.

However, I fear going to the doctor since I don't want to have to lose my job. More importantly, I don't want to lose my income.

My question is, is there workmen's compensation for CTS? Also, I make a fair amount of money, would any workmen's comp be based on what I currently make or just based on some standard amount?

Any help would be appreciated.

 
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Old 04-17-2001, 04:19 PM   #2
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raynbow HB User
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Yes, CTS entitles you to workman's compensation benefits. This should include any and all medical treatment, mileage going to any medical treatment, and some payment for time you are unable to perform your work. I'm in the same boat - I believe that the compensation is $480/month here in California, which is FAR less than what I make.

As for fearing retribution from your employer, you really shouldn't worry. I just went through it all with my employer. They carry insurance to cover these claims, so it's not like the money is coming directly out of their accounts. Also, they cannot fire you for filing a claim.

All I can say is good luck. You don't want to mess around with your health, so I would really recommend doing all that it takes to make your hands better.

 
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Old 04-22-2001, 06:50 AM   #3
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If you live in Georgia, you should check with an attorney. I was fired from my job, because my employer did not report my condition to the state worker's compensation board. They had to cover up this mistake. You do have certain rights, but if your boss decides to discriminate/fire you, your only recourse, (in Ga.) is to sue. (But do you really want to work for people that think so little of you.) Other companies do not like employees who sue, they consider them to be trouble makers. Do not file under your personal insurance, unless (like I was) the condition deteriorates and you are forced to. Private companies are better in treating these issues. If you work for education/public school system you SHOULD seek advice to protect yourself/job. If your condition has not progressed to the point of a disformity (or permanent damage/pain), you can try VIOXX or CELEBRAX. Remember, those persons you work with could care less, you are becoming a liability to them. Good luck.


[This message has been edited by MaryAnne5 (edited 05-08-2001).]

 
Old 04-30-2001, 09:29 AM   #4
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I had CTS in my right and left hand...the workmans comp in Indiana paid for all doctors...the surgery in my right hand and paid me for loss of income....iffin you do have cts...and you have a surgery done...be very careful with workmans comp. I was told when i had the surgery you will automatically loose some usage of your hand...I did i know for a fact because i still have problems with it. THey *w.c. will offer you a settlement...usually around 5000 dollars ....dont take it....fight it...all in all my best advice for you is to get an attorney. Alot of attorneys out there does not want you to pay anything unless they receive something for you. If you do have the surgery and after the surgery you still have problems...do not settle with workmans comp becuz once you settle with them they are not liable for anything more. i know this for a fact also. I settled and now i am left with a hand that has lost 10 percent usage in it...i cant open a jar of jelly or anything that has a seal on it...hurts to write, to type , to pretty much do anything with my hand. So just be very careful as to how you handle this.

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Old 05-29-2001, 04:14 AM   #5
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Lot's of good advice!! I'm home on w/c In Michigan, you receive about 67% of normal weekly wages. For me, it was equal to what I normally would bring home after taxes and insurance premiums. The only downfall is that w/c doesn't take out takes and I have to pay my medical premius out of pocket it I want to continue them. Some companies are good. My advice would be to find out who the w/c carrier is and make sure they have a claim on file. You cannot receive benefits if you sue, so be careful that you don't until after the surgery. As for the success of the surgery, I've heard both good and bad. I hope this helps, good luck!!

 
Old 05-30-2001, 01:10 AM   #6
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I have Carpal Tunnel in both hands and was suppose to be covered under Worman's Comp in Alabama. Please be careful and make sure that your company does report it to the state. They paid for my surgeries and then tried to get rid of me and make me quit. I have a lot of pain and have permanent damage to my hands and hurt in my elbows and shoulders now and my company just quit paying for Dr. or anything. I had to get an attorney. They figured that I would go away and quit. I know if I quit I would never be able to get another job anywhere. Please check into everything thoroughly and make sure everthing is on the right track. I was on celebrex and Vioxx but now I am having trouble even getting into seeing another Doctor because of the way the company has handle my claim. My whole life has changed. If you don't do anything about it your hands may get worse. All they care about is their hours with out a loss time accident and not the people that work for them.

 
Old 05-30-2001, 09:38 AM   #7
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I was first diagnosed with Carpal Tunnel Syndrome in 1997 and filed for Workman's Compensation through work. I went for the test (painful), got my workstation set up as best I could (i.e., ergonomic keyboard with wrist pad, orbit track ball as a mouse). I did exercises to strengthen my wrist muscles and not do further damage to my CTS. I wore braces while I worked and while I slept.
I drop everything. Every day I'm in pain while driving, working at my keyboard, gardening, walking my dog. In 1999, I actively sought a different position at work that would be less strenuous on my hands (i.e., less typing) and found one. I tried all of these things to see if I could prevent surgery - none worked.
This year (2001), I started getting scared that I would suffer permanent nerve damage if I did not have the surgery, so I went to my doctor and contacted those responsible for WC at my work. I discovered that when I go on leave for my surgery that I will only be paid 2/3 of the salary I was earning back in 1997, which was SIGNIFICANTLY less than what I now earn. WC treats CTS as if it is an injury that just happens to you one day. They also treat is as though you have to jump to the most extreme form of therapy (surgery) right after you find out that you have it; otherwise, you are punished for waiting too long as I did. The time I took to set everything up ergonomically at work, excersize, and change job positions was intended to prevent the cost and pain of invasive surgery. I thought I was doing what I was supposed to do.
Do not by any circumstances trust the people handling your WC case to tell you everything that you need to do. Do your homework and go to the WC site on the internet to find out what you are/not entitled to.
I also found out that my WC contact (which turned out to be my company's insurance company) never submitted my claim to WC. I was under the false impression in 1997 that I was dealing directly with WC people, not an insurance company. Even if I had known, I would have thought that it was their job to submit my claim to WC. They didn't.
I contacted a lawyer recently and he said that we need to handle my case very carefully, because if we filed with WC too soon, then the insurance company could tell me to get lost and not pay my claim. How is this? - you might ask. Because I was not aware that if I did not see a doctor for over 2 years that the case is supposed to be closed. I didn't see a doctor, because I educate myself and take measures to help my condition. I could have easily seen a doctor every week if I chose to, but why would I waste their money and my time to just have my doctor keep telling me the same old things?
Be careful out there - no one is on your side except you - and your lawyer (get one!).

 
Old 05-30-2001, 03:07 PM   #8
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workinggirl HB User
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Bama, I also have cts in both hands. Had surgery on both and wc paid for everything. even made a $$ settlement with me and I live in AL also. Don't think it is the state, just the company. To many claims and insurance cost goes up and most companies can't handle the cost.

 
Old 05-30-2001, 03:08 PM   #9
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workinggirl HB User
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Bama, I also have cts in both hands. Had surgery on both and wc paid for everything. even made a $$ settlement with me and I live in AL also. Don't think it is the state, just the company. To many claims and insurance cost goes up and most companies can't handle the cost.

 
Old 05-31-2001, 12:20 AM   #10
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Working girl I am glad your company did file with the state of Alabama. The company I work for didn't file with the state and just paid for the surgeries and tried to make me quit. This company is worldwide and could very well afford to take better care of their employees than they do. I was only letting this person know to be very careful and make sure he doesn't take the word of his company and that everything is filed like it is suppose to be. Even though I am still working, I am given a very hard time and this company would love to see me quit and just disappear. I am not the only one there are others that work with me where the company is self insured and pay the claims themself tell the Doctor what to do with the patient and tell him they want the person discharged and the Doctor will do it because he knows he won't get anymore money. All is stopped and the company keeps their good OSHA Rating of 98% and are approaching 200million hours without a lost time accident. Yes it keeps cost down but only at the expense and injury of the employees . This day I can't get another Doctor to see me and the Dr. that did the surgery won't see me either because the company won't ok it. Maybe some of the information I have given will help the person that started this message. I don't want anyone to get in the shape I am in and no where to turn but live in pain and it gets worse after 8 hours working. If he isn't careful and doesn't check things out then he will have no where to turn like I do. I am sorry I got long winded.

 
Old 06-02-2001, 07:23 AM   #11
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MaryAnne5 HB User
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Grayrun,
I think your lawyer is looking out for you. Because the school system did not report my claim, I filed under personal insurance. I did not receive WC wages, because they would not allow me time off. After my termination, I contacted the state WC, determined nothing had been reported, so I filed with them. I then hired an attorney and was able to settle with school's WC insurance because no WC wages had been paid. I think the only reason your personal insurance WILL pay is because your company didn't file WC. Be careful, my ex-department head (at the school system) didn't report the claim, and then layed me off (basically to cover it up).
If your immediate superior was involved in your case, tell your attorney.

 
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