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Can the disability payments from my jobs insurance company exceed 1 year? Not happy with atty, can I get another one?

Torrance, CA |

I reported upper back and hand pain in November of 2010. I had MRI's, X-rays, EMG, physical therapy injections, etc. I have 2 herniated discs in my upper spine, 2 bulging discs in my lower spine, sciatica, carpal tunnel and more. 1 of the many doctors I have seen took 1 look at my MRI's and was surprised I was working and put me on TTD last June. That doctor has left the practice. The current doctor tried to send me back to work and released me from his care even though I know I have gotten worse. My pain management Dr (through my personal insurance) has me off work. I need continued medical care for the work issues, I feel as if the last doctor didn't care that I am not better. I will be 45 in June and feel like an80 year old. I want a complete re-evaluation, the tests I had are 3 years

Attorney Answers 6

  1. You have a lot of open questions here, and the post is a little confusing. But when you refer to "disability payments" from your company, are you referring to disability benefits under a employee welfare benefit plan (an ERISA plan), like Short Term Disability or Long Term Disability? If that is what you are referring to, the terms of your benefits are set forth in the "Plan Text," which is the document saying what benefits you get and what benefits you don't get. Your employer is required to provide you with a "Summary Plan Description," or SPD, which sets forth in simple layperson's terms what the Plan Text provides. Employees call this the "Benefits Binder." If you have that, look in there, and that will tell you what benefits you are entitled to. In many employer plans, you get STD for a period of time (like 3 months or 6 months or 1 year) and then you can apply for Long Term Disability benefits if your disability extends beyond the STD period. Ask your HR person for details, or consult an ERISA lawyer in your area.
    If, by "disability payments," you are referring to worker's compensation benefits (this would apply if your injury was an on-the-job injury), then you are typically entitled to your employer paying for your medical bills, "TTD" or temporary total disability for your lost wages for the lost time from work, and "PPD" (or "permanent partial disability")[and some state laws give these other names] for compensation for the permanency of your injury to part of your body. Talk to an experienced worker's comp attorney if that is the case.
    If by "disability," you mean some form of government disability benefits, like Social Security Disability, then consult with a Social Security Disability lawyer in your area.
    If you got all these injuries from a car crash or other accident, then you need a good personal injury lawyer in your area to sort this out. Maybe you could amend your post to give more information. Hope this helps.

  2. These are questions for your WC attorney. If they can not be answered to your satisfaction, you might find another attorney that can and will.

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  3. It appears from your question that this is actually a workers compensation issue, i will go ahead and change the category. You ask a few questions, I will try to address them. First you ask about disability payments. It depends what kind. If you are talking about temporary disability from workers compensation, then they can normally extend 104 weeks, sometimes longer. If you are talking about a short term or long term disability policy, it will depend on the policy.

    You discuss problems with various doctors, you should be able to find other doctors whether it is in your own personal insurance or through workers compensation.

    Lastly, you ask if you can find another attorney. This is always a possibility. I would discuss the issues with your current attorney first, if this does not work, you can look into finding a new attorney.

    Good Luck!!

    Disclaimers: Making a false or fraudulent workers compensation claim is a felony subject to up to 5 years in prison or a fine of up to $50,000 or double the value of the fraud, whichever is greater, or by both imprisonment and fine. Each case is pursued differently based on its own merits. As such, there is no guarantee as to the outcome of any case. No attorney/client relationship will be established by contact with this AVVO communication or any messages or emails from Silberman and Lam, LLP. An attorney/client relationship will begin only when a retainer has been signed.

  4. My advice would be to find another (new) treating doctor through workers compensation on your MPN and see if you can go back on TD through work comp. you get 2 years of disability through work comp and up to another year of state disability so you should try to maximize your wc.

    You can switch attorneys but I always recommend trying to make an appointment and ask questions and voice your concerns

    As for the re-evaluation, that seems reasonable. Did you go to a QME?

  5. Workers' compensation temporary disability payments can last up to 2 years. You can change your doctor and your attorney at any time. You can object to the treating doctor's opinion and request a second opinion. You can get a third opinion. You can request a panel of doctors to be assigned. There's much you can do.

  6. This is a WC claim. the best thing you can do at this point is see a WC attorney who represents injured workers. I have reviewed the posts of the other attorneys and agree with them. You need to get care for our industrial injuries within the employer/insurance carriers medical provider network. Disability benefits for TTD is good for up to 104 weeks. You may also be eligible for permanent disability benefits if you have any permanent residuals. This may inter-relate with employment issues as well if our employer is not accommodating your injuries. In my opinion, you are headed for trouble if you try to handle this one on your own.

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