Fired After Back Injury...
I received a back injury at my old job. This first injury wasn't claimed to workers comp, I simply rested and moved on. I was putting away a large food order with heavy boxes when it happened. My work did not have any kind of lifting protocol. I informed my manager at the time of the injury and she failed to write any kind of report or document the incident.
Six months later, I was working and my back seized up on me to the point where I couldn't walk. I went to the E.R. on the owner's suggestion and saw a doctor at a local Medical Center. The MD gave me anti-inflammatory pills and had me on rest/light duty for a few weeks. The owner told me there was no light duty and we both manipulated my time card to keep the requirements of workers comp up to standard.
Within two months the owner fired me, without just cause, and I have since been receiving unemployment. I've now had my back seize up in the same spot twice and I woke up today barely able to walk. (It has been 7 months since the original "workers comp" case, and 4 months since I was terminated.)
I have a part time job that I can't perform properly due to my back, and am wondering if I have any options on my old claim? I need to have my back x-rayed or looked at and get physical therapy or something. I also need to know if I qualify for disability. I am 26 years old and reside in California. Thank you.
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ANSWER for "Fired After Back Injury...":
Anonymous (California, USA):
Your first problem may be your “manipulation” of your time card at your previous employer. If you or your employer falsified information upon which workmans compensation relied, you both may have violated state or federal law. As a result your “options” on your old claim are limited.
With that said to qualify for Social Security Disability you will have to begin with the application for benefits. You can download one at www.ssa.gov/disability. Although you may eventually qualify you can be assured the process is a long one. It may take several years for your claim to be heard. If it’s denied at the first level, and most are, you’ll have to appeal the decision.
The State of California also offers a form of disability payments. To see if you qualify go to the following site: www.edd.ca.gov/disability.
If you aren’t satisfied with the results of your search contact an attorney in your area who specializes in Disability Claims. Most won’t charge any fee for an initial office consultation.
The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from an attorney licensed in your state. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here, or call (888) 647-2490.
Best of luck,
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