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Laid off while out on disability

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Old 01-18-2009, 10:45 PM   #1
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
OWhatAThrill HB User
Unhappy Laid off while out on disability

I have been out on company disability since 10/30/2008. I had my 3rd back surgery, which was my 2nd spinal fusion on 12/30/08. I go back for my 4 week checkup on the 26th.

Last week I got a call from my employer that I was being laid off, it was a company wide lay off so is legal. They said they would officially keep me as employed until my "return to work" date, which was estimated to be 2/3/09, but they said they expected maybe as far as mid-February. I asked what if it went further and they said they would have to regroup and make a decision then. I have been employed here for 10 years. They offered 13 weeks severence and 3 months of insurance.

My concern is I really feel I will be unable to go back to work. Standing and walking have in the past been the worst for me, and after this surgery, I cannot sit for more than 20 minutes without severe pain.

I am in Tennessee and my concerns are I had disability insurance that would pay me at 66% of my salary. They provide an attorney to help you get on Social Security Disability because that reduces their monthly outlay. When I asked the question to my HR on the phone call where they laid me off, I asked what if I was to be permanently disabled. They said that only applied if I was employed.

I feel that since I was already out of disability and had this insurance, any disability insurance I had that was in effect at the time I went out, shoudl continue. Does anyone know the law? I'm a single mom and living paycheck to paycheck, I don't have $$'s to hire an attorney especially if my "salary" will be reduced to 66%.

Any suggestions or how to proceed from this point? They would be most appreciated!

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Old 01-18-2009, 11:16 PM   #2
Join Date: Jan 2009
Location: virginia
Posts: 90
lisam1120 HB User
Re: Laid off while out on disability

I'm not sure about the laws in your state, however my question is was this a work related injury and are you or were you recieving workers comp checks?

I injured my back 11/2006 at work and went out on W/C. Had a level one spinal fusion 5/2007, then had the hardware removed 5/2008. I was released back to work with restrictions in Nov 2007, however we learned very quickly after two weeks that it was just not possible for me to do the work even with restrictions, so my doc took me back out of work indefinatley. I received a letter that was dated Dec 3rd 2008 and I recieved it on Dec 6th 2008 from HQ, stating that if I didnt return to work by Nov 21st 2008 I would be terminated. I was little shocked being that I had already been terminated a month before they even sent the letter out. Not that it would have made a difference anyway as I was not returning to work anytime soon, its the simple fact that they had already term'd me a month prior to sending out the letter saying I had to return that I had an issue with.

I recieved another letter shortly after that that all of my benefits had been cancelled and that I could either cash out or roll over my 401K.

Even though I have terminated I am still recieving biweekly W/C checks, they are still paying all of my medical and pharmacy bills.

The only thing that I have been told is that I can not sue the company for the injury as long as they are paying me W/C checks.

My understanding is that I am very lucky that they are still paying me and kept me on payroll for 2 yrs post injury, but many believe that they are continueing to pay me because they know they are at fault and are trying to avoid this going to court.

Now that i've been terminated though, I am in the process of seeking an Attorney just in case problems start to arise.

I live in Va. by the way.

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Old 01-19-2009, 07:39 AM   #3
Join Date: Jan 2009
Posts: 6
OWhatAThrill HB User
Re: Laid off while out on disability

Mine was not a workman's comp case.

Altho I have wondered. I was already headed to what I think is my 3rd back surgery when our maillady went out on leave and my boss asked if I could help. I did everything I could to minimize carrying full boxes of mail, but I still had too at times. I figured with prior back surgery, it would have been a hard case and I was willing to go out on regular leave and get it taken care of. Wasn't expecting to get laid off though.

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