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Old 05-25-2006, 07:35 AM   #1
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Angry Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

I received a letter from my employer last week stating that they let me go, so I faxed it to my lawyer who in turn wrote me and said they had every right because I was released to work a long time ago. In Dec. my dr had released me for an hour a day and my lawyer said no way! Not only was I far from healed but I had to drive 52 miles to work! The drive alone killed me. Now I can't get my lawyer to call back and I am a wreck. I am in worse shape than I was when all of this started. My dr also mis-diagnosed my neck for several months. I have also been put on topamax which has made me sooo stupid!! Mind you I am not having the nerve related headaches anymore, but that is the only thing that has been solved for me since July of 05. From 8am until 1pm I cannot even think of getting into my truck and driving anywhere, I will hurt someone. It's one thing to try to find a job that doesn't irritate either my lower back or my neck, but what can you do that doesn't bother either one. Work comp at one time sent a vocational specialist who was supposed to work with me, but I have never seen her again. I am so upset I don't know what to do. This job has ruined my life and now it's getting worse. I wonder if I should consider another lawyer. Sometimes I think I should just go back to working again, but I have such a hard time just getting out of bed some days. I don't know what job I could do anymore. I have went to all of my appts and was never told to go back to work. Nothing has ever gotten better or healed. I just don't know what to do. Pain has me mentaly wiped on it's own--why do they have to add anything else? I don't want a bunch of money, just be be half-way normal again. Any advice? I know I ask for a lot of it, sorry.

 
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Old 05-25-2006, 08:09 AM   #2
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

That really sucks! I'm sorry you have to go through all this. I don't know how they can fire you if you are on a workers comp claim? I guess all states are different, but that wouldn't happen in my state.

I would be looking for another attorney if this guy is not calling you back. This is the time he should be communicating with you the most.

Since this was a workers comp claim, are you still going to be able to get your ESI's and other procedures and tests done?

Unfortunantely I'm not an expert on workers comp issues, but this doesn't sound right to me.

Until you find a new attorney, I would just keep calling, show up at his office, etc. He should be passing on his "expert" advice at this time.

I hope things get better for you. Good luck

 
Old 05-25-2006, 08:41 AM   #3
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Unfortunately because your doctor did release you to go back to work and you did not go they do have the right to terminate you, especially if you live in an "at will" state or are not covered by FMLA or ADA laws. Did your company give you any warning about returning to work before actually firing you?

Your attorney didn't do you any favors if he didn't fight the your doctor when he did release you and you weren't ready. He should of sent you to a new doctor. But what is done is done and now you have to try to correct the situation if possible.
You can talk to another lawyer and I do suggest you do but it sadly it may not work out so you should at least prepare yourself for that.

Did you apply for Social Security Disability when you became disabled? If you didn't you should apply for it immediately because it can take many months, if not years, to even be approved.

 
Old 05-25-2006, 09:53 AM   #4
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Hey Blue, Did they terminate your salary benefits and your medical or just your salary. Did you try to go back to work and report the problems you were having. Your lawyer should be able to ask for a hearing with the industrial commision but you do need supporting medical veiws that say your unable to work. Unfortunately the best thing to have done would have been to attempt to return to work and then explain to the comp docs what you experienced when you tried.

If it's any comfort, most comp settlements with permant injuries, include your agreement to be terminated and not seek unemployment. Since you haven't gone the unemloyement route, if you feel you can find something you can do, you may be eligable, it's worth looking into. But you can't do both, collect unemployemtn in one hand saying your looking for work, and seek benefits in the other claiming your unable to work.

I understand not being able to do what the comp docs request, but you do have to show you tried. You can fire your comp attorney if he isn't doing his job but do get legal advice from another atorney before you dismiss the old one. He may have already filed for a hearing with the industrial commision. Without income you also may qualify for state benefits if you have a doc that says your unable to work and your household income falls below the requirement.

You do have some options, but you have to do the leg work which isn't easy when your injured. Remember, the squeeky wheel gets the grease, If you have to sit in your attorneys office untill you get an answer as to what to do next, that's what you need to do. Comp atorneys know there is a cap on what the can charge and some attorneys aren't the most honorable people you will meet.

As far as social security, if their docs have cleared you for work, they won't be much help as far as supporting your claim that your permanantly and totallly disabled and this will last longer than a year. If you have already been out 8 months or whatever the most recent law is, you can likely go ahead and file but you do need your own docs to support your claim. I would sugest getting your own Independnet medical eval. I have seen where folks talk about comp sending them for an IME but it's really not independent if they are comp providors. A comp docs job is to return you to work, otherwise they won't retain the lucrative comp contracts if their return to work ratio is too low.

If your payng for the IME, the doc should be more patient friendly rather than employer friendly. They tend to be friendlier to whoever is paying the bill.

Good luck, Dave

 
Old 05-25-2006, 07:40 PM   #5
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Wow guys! What a lot of info! I took a lot of notes and will definately keep all of this in mind! I finally got a hold of my lawyer's paralegal about 3pm this afternoon and she said that it is ok for my employer to let me go because they do not have a position that I can work. Anyone unable to work 12 weeks in a 26 week period will be let go. She also said that the lawyer did not really do a very good job "wording" the letter. This paralegal said "my god, you're right, she made it sound like you where released to work" So, they scared me for nothing. They did fight for the one hour a day release and I did not have to do that. I am still covered by workers comp and will still get all my treatments including the esi on june 5th. (Aranger, I did write you again on that thread) So far I have lost my salary and I do lose all my company benefits on May 30th. I still get my work comp check every week. Fortunately, my husband will be able to get benefits at his job, although he is unwilling to cover me and my daughter. (again, here we go) We did have excellent health insurance thru my company. I am trying hard to get into a dentist now before the end of the month. I just recently had my dr send me to a pm and he has started some treatments, so I think he wants to see how this works out before we start thinking about anything long-term. I know I am stuck with the athritis and ddd, but I can't blame that on the job. I do know from previous back injuries, that all of this will probably be with me forever, so there's a lot to think about with the future. My Dad has mentioned SSI but I am only 37 and I keep thinking wow, now I am giving up. But I know that I'm wrong to think that. Do I have to wait and see if my treatments help before I apply? Other than the lawyer just not quite wording the letter properly, it sounds like the only thing that has happened is that I have been fired. There was not a release to work. It is amazing how just a few typos can turn someone's life upside down. Thank all of you for your help. It made me feel like there was something I could do. and still can. What a relief.

 
Old 05-25-2006, 10:25 PM   #6
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Blue Stream,

Did you say that your husband is refusing to put you and your daugher on your insurance?? Thats not good and better yet, why? If you are not going to have insurance, doesn't he think it might be a good thing to do. What is wrong with people??? I have another thread that I know you posted on, and it really is an eye opener of some of the ways people are treated. I just don't get it

As far as SSI, if you are going to apply, you need to do it now. SSI can take a long time and appeals so you need to start the process now. Make sure you have plenty of documentation regarding your injuries and how your life, job, etc is affected.

Don't feel like you are doing something wrong by applying for SSI. It is there for a reason and if you are disabled then thats what it is there for.

I wish you luck and hope things work out for you. Good luck with ESI injection. Let us know how things turn out for you.

Take Care

 
Old 05-26-2006, 07:37 AM   #7
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

I, too, lost my job while on w/c. I had surgery on my arm on Nov 30th and was terminated on Feb 14th(happy valentines day). My work claimed it was a hardship on them to keep my job open so they were allowed to fire me an fill my position. They said I was welcome to apply when my doctor releases me!LOL

In my state if you are let go while on w/c you can file for unemployment once you are released to work, your w/c checks stop and you start looking for work again. Don't know if this is true everywhere but it's something to think about.

Take care and good luck.
(what is the deal with your husband's insurance? Why won't he put you guys on it?) ~Mush

 
Old 05-26-2006, 08:02 AM   #8
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Aranger-I will look into SSI right away and do it with pride We had rain all night last night and wow I woke up today and I don't think I have one joint that isn't screaming. As for my spouse putting us on his insurance, I have no idea why he won't. I had no problem insuring him on my policy. (and paying for it) It is his step-daughter, but he does love her and treats her very well, so I just don't get it. In fact they tend to gang up on me, especially when I have dopamax moments. It really hurts me that we have to go without sometimes. We do have a program for kids here in MT called CHIPS it covers all of their medical expenses and I called this am, but my husband makes too much money to put her on it. I really think a am going to have to cause some "drama" as my 19 year old daughter would put it. I'm just not very good at that. I can't stand to fight. Don't know yet what to do or say. I'm running out of options and time now. I just wish I was well enough to work. I waited years to remarry and sometimes I wonder!!! I'm not saying I don't love my husband because I do, but I think I'm way to nice and I need to learn to stand up for myself a little more. My employer also noted that I am welcome to re-apply when I am released also. yeah right!! My other daughter's car broke down, I think it is her water pump and her boyfriend broke up with her, so if I can't get my husband to help her, guess what I will be doing. (I love working on cars) We wonder why we feel like crap Take Care, Angela

 
Old 05-26-2006, 08:33 AM   #9
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Angela,

Sorry you have to go through all this. I don't know why your husband would not cover you. I think there is a major problem with that. Just tell him that when you are in pain and don't have a doc anymore, you'll be going to the ER where the bill will be $1000. Since you lost your job, looks like he will be paying the bill. Seems like it benefits everyone if you're covered by his insurance.

I hope things start working out for you. I know how you feel going through this stuff alone. Feel free to post here and let us know how things are going.

Take Care

 
Old 05-26-2006, 08:36 AM   #10
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

I can't believe your husband won't put you on his insurance, that's rediculous. Would he rather pay full price for all your medical treatments?

One thing to keep in mind with SSDI, you can not get full SSDI payment while on WC but it is important for you to go ahead and apply anyhow in case you ever loose your WC payments. What will happen is if you win, you will continue to get your WC but if your SSDI amount is more you will get the difference in that amount. It might not be much or it could be a lot. You need to find a good SSD lawyer. Don't use the guy you have now. Find one that specializes in SSD only. Hopefully you do have enough working credits, if you do not you may not qualify.

The good thing about the SSD is when or if you do return to work you are covered for 9 months with full benefits of SSDI while working (does not apply to ssi) and then are covered without payment for two years if you should stop working your SSDI can be restarted at any time between that two year period with no questions asked.

 
Old 05-26-2006, 12:02 PM   #11
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Thanks! that was my next question--where to really start. I also spoke to my ex-husband about the ssi and he told me the exact same thing as you both did. I can't believe the information you all have. It's amazing!! Thank you for everything. I also talked to my pm about my esi and he is using "versa" and he did prescribe me some valium to take a couple days prior to my appt. and said I can take one an hour before the proceedure. So I am all set. Now to settle my insurance problem. The er looks better all the time. lol

 
Old 05-26-2006, 12:08 PM   #12
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Hi Angela, Since they terminated you, you should be eligable to cobra your insurance, even though it's more epexpensive when you look at the cost of meds it's well worth it. Going without does suck and makes you resentful. In our case it was a matter of finances. I needed svcript insurance but it would have cost an extra 700 a month to put me on my wifes plan. I had already discontued every med to the point of only spending 200 a month, but couldn't afford many needed things like Androgel, plavix, Zocor, and Aciphex. If I had gotten sick and need an expensive anti-biotic I would have been SOL.
Good luck, Dave.

.

 
Old 05-27-2006, 08:34 AM   #13
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Re: Fired while on work comp-need to vent!

Your are right Dave, they have offered up Cobra--to the tune of over 425 a month. It would still be cheaper for my husband to put us all on his insurance. I was only paying 80 a month for just the two of us and it was excellent coverage!! I am at this time only bringing in 212 a week on work comp. I had only been with my company for a short time. There is no way I can afford it and my husband would never pay for it. I had mentioned earlier that I was trying to see a dentist before my insurance stopped, only because I had one little tooth that had a cavity--no big deal, only hurts if I eat something sweet. I was unable to get in anywhere, you know how it is. Just thought I would take care of it while I had insurance. I woke up this am with an ear ache and swollen jaw--I CANNOT believe this. I have had a slight headache the last couple days and just assumed my topamax wasn't working anymore. My teeth never bother me. I am sure it is infected and here it is memorial day weekend. I am bad and usually keep my leftover antibiotics,(bad, bad) but, when I redid my kitchen a couple weeks ago, I also cleaned out everything, including my medicine cabinet. I also saw my dr yesterday for an allergy on my hands, but this hadn't popped up yet. When it rains it pours. I am still trying to figure out what to say to my husband. I haven't been able to talk to him yet about not being able to get my daughter covered on that CHIPS program because he went out last night. Any thoughts or ideas would be great. I'm sure he feels that because she is really not his daughter that he is not obligated. But I am his wife. We are his family. I thought about talking to his Mom, but she really hated me at one time, plus that might be considered a form of tattleing. Any one have any ideas on what I could say or how I could put it?? I don't have to work on my daughter's car, my ex told me to take it to a shop and he would pay for it. I do have to help her move tho. I just have to drive. If you own a truck you should hide it. I hope you all have a great weekend--it is pouring rain here!

 
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