My clients get Social Security Disability Insurance coverage every month without being at Maximum Medical Improvement / P&S. (That said, it slows the settlement process by 7 months, so avoid it if there's any chance you can get some lighter work you can do without ruining your body.)
After the initial 104 weeks (2yrs) of Temp. Disability from the Insurer, clients get either State Disability Insurance from EDD (see link below) OR Disability Insurance from their 'union' or private insurance policy when they paid for a private insurance policy (teachers often have private coverage because they don't have CA-SDI paycheck deductions).
HOW MANY TIMES WILL YOU SEE THE QME? as many as it takes. the secret is to COMPLETE the tests and procedures the QME ordered in the first place. IF IT TAKES an attorney to get those tests and treatment modalities done, you'd be smart to get an attorney -- preferabley a Certified Specialist -- immediately.
You can apply for State Disability benefits if you are still unable to work. You can also activate your LTD benefits if you purchased a policy prior. SSDI is available if you are still unable to work, and your disability is expected to be permanent.
We offer general concepts, but you should give ALL your facts to a licensed Attorney in your state before you RELY upon any legal advice.
Under workers' comp law you can get TTDI for up to 104 weeks. Sounds like you're there. After that you can apply to EDD for California State Disability (SDI) They'll give you some grief but you should be able to get that for another year. You should also be applying for Social Security Disability (SSDI). That is a long, 3-step process to get and can take up to 18 months so get on that one right away. You do NOT have to be P&S to apply for SSDI.
Having been off work for 2 years with another anticipated, I want to make sure you're working with a good doctor who understands CRPS. Not all do. If you want, give me a call and we'll talk about treatment options. You probably ought to be represented as this is looking like a major injury and you don't want to make any mistakes that can cost you. When we talk we can also talk about who would be a good attorney for you.
It appears you reached the maximum of 104 weeks of temporary disability. Your physician can complete a EDD application and you could receive additional funds for a year. At the same time you need to have an attorney file for Social Security Benefits on your behalf. The latter takes a while and you need to start the process now.