Re: worker comp law?
A few things to consider:
-Spondylolysthesis is typically viewed as a congenital problem (that which one has from birth). What may have occured is the problem you had since being young may have been aggrivated by a work related injury. Have you filed for WC and are you able to describe the incident/activities that led to the pain/symptoms? Keep in mind WC is different in each state - so the laws, processes, requirements etc are different for each state.
-Also, many companies offer Short Term Disability (STD) and Long Term Disability (LTD) benefits which can provide youa % of your annual earnings for work-related or non-work related injuries or illnesses. You should check your HR/benefits department to see if these benefits are offered. Sometimes employees have to enroll and pay all/part of the premiium and sometimes the company automatically enrolls and pays the premium. In either case you'd have to have been enrolled before the illness/injury occured. (So for anyone reading this, never turn down STD or LTD when you join an employer - you never know when you may need it and you can't get it after the fact).
In both cases, often WC is offset (removed from) any STD or LTD benefit payable. For example, lets say your normal income is $60,000 per year which is $5000 per month. The typical LTD policy offeres a benefit of about 60% of your income to a pre-determined maximum. So, again for the sake of example, let's say your LTD plan offers 60% to a max of $2500 per month. With $5000 per month in earnings you could get 60% on LTD which is $3000. But if the max LTD benefit is $2500 - you would be eligible for $2500 less any other income benfits. So to further the example, if you do get Workers' Comp at $1500 per month your LTD would be $2500-$1500 = $1000. If your WC claim is denied, then you can get $2500 per month (less any other income or wages). STD and LTD are also applicable for non-work related medical conditions such as cancer, stroke, surgery, mental illness, etc).
I've been in the disability insurance industry (STD and LTD) for a long time and in my opinion, if you think the aggravation of the condition is work related you should pursue WC, find a WC attorney and follow the pursuit all the way through all appeal stages. However, if after full review WC says it is not compensable there is usually no other legal recourse to have the employer accept liability and to pay you for being unable to do your job.
-Lastly, if you are denied WC and do not have STD/LTD but you are truly incapacitated from any type of work you can apply for Social Security Disability (SSDI). The definition of disability is very stringent and requires you be unable to do any gainful work (so if you are in construction and were making $40 per hour, but you could be a receptionist at a company at $8 per hour they would consider you able to work and not eligible for Social Security. But, just as in my previsous examples, if you are indeed out of work and totally incapacitated it is worth pursuing, through appeal stages, etc.
I was found to have Spondylolysthesis in 1987 at the age of 21. I had a fusion at L4-S1 and later in 1993 had it re-done with hardware from L5-S1. I used to work in social service and am now in the insurance industry so I have not been incapacitated for long for either of the back surgeries or my recent ACDF C5-C7 (each time taking 6-8 weeks off of work only, but then again I don't have a physical job).
Sorry if this is long, but I hope it helps.
Rt thumb fusion '13. R&L thumb arthroplasty '12 ; RT TKR & Bilat CTS' 11. Fusions: L5-S1('87), L4-S1('93), C5-C7('06), L3-S1('10), C4-C5('13). C5-C7 foraminotomy '08
Last edited by SpineAZ; 08-15-2006 at 12:03 AM.