Pain from previous surgery affecting current job performance...
(W. Monroe, LA USA)
I got a workers comp settlement from a previous company's insurance. I had a back injury and had back fusion surgery 12 years ago. Now I am having issues from the disk below where the surgery was performed. The doctor that did the previous surgery said it's common to have issues below or above the surgery over time. I am 59 years old and make good money, but I'm having problems doing my job because of physical issues.
Can my previous case be re-opened since the injury is now affecting my work? Or do I file a new workers comp claim with my current job for exacerbating the injury (but if the MD says it's common to have these problems after surgery, would they even accept my claim)? What alternatives do I have? Should I quit my job and file for disability benefits (Federal)? Thanks.
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ANSWER for "Pain from previous surgery affecting current job performance...":
Randy (W. Monroe, LA USA):
Attempting to collect workmans compensation benefits from a current employer doesn’t preclude seeking compensation benefits from a previous employer.
Start with your present employer. Contact the workers comp representative and file a claim. Your injuries are real. You won’t know if your claim will be accepted or denied until and unless you try. If your claim is denied based on an injury from your previous employment, then contact the workers comp rep who handled your previous claim. Tell the truth and explain your prior injury is still causing problems.
In the event both attempts fail, you can always consider visiting with a workers compensation attorney. Most do not charge for an initial office consultation. You have nothing to lose and everything to gain buy doing so, if necessary.
Quitting your job and filing for Social Security Disability benefits is a risky proposition. There’s no guarantee Social Security will accept your claim. Unfortunately, in most cases, unless the disability is unequivocally and inarguably disabling, the Social Security Disability Administration usually denies the first filing.
Many Social Security disability claims take over two (2) years before the claimant is finally approved. One step at a time. Exhaust all your options.
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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