Visitor Question

Workers compensation payments cut off before fully healed?

Submitted By: Helene (Huntington, NY)

I’ve worked in restaurants for 25 yrs. I fell at work and was injured by a fellow employee trying to catch me as I fell – he got hold of my thumb only and pulled me up by it, hence pulling my tendons and ligaments.

After 3 cortisone shots, that provided only temporary relief so I could continue to work, I had to quit my job. (This was not where my accident happened because they fired me over this claim, but at another place.) Finally my doctor diagnosed me with deQuervains Syndrome.

After 7 months of pain I had surgery. Now my doc is saying I’m 100% and I am totally not. He reported that I could return to work to my workers compensation provider and they cut off my payments!

I tried to return to work and after 2 days my wrist swelled and hurt profusely from the heavy lifting I was required to do. I reported this to my doc and he is now requesting an MRI, because I basically insisted on one. My doc was so snotty about this. He was very rude to me.

So now I had my IME (Independent Medical Evaluation) today. I am broke. I can’t work. What can I do? I will get another opinion. What can I do to expedite this process of getting benefits? Is there anything else I can do to get some income while going through this process, like temporary disability or something? Thank you.

Disclaimer: Our response is not formal legal advice and does not create an attorney-client relationship. It is generic legal information based on the very limited information provided. Do not rely upon the information in our response, or anywhere else on this site, when deciding the proper course of a legal matter. Always get a personalized case review from a local attorney.

Answer

Dear Helene,

You are in a precarious position. While no one could rightfully doubt you continue to experience pain and discomfort, unfortunately you are technically at the mercy of your current treating physician. To “break out” from the medical rut you are in you have three (3) choices:

First: Seek the medical opinion of a private physician

Second: Seek legal representation from a local workers’ compensation attorney. Most workers’ comp attorneys will not charge you for an initial office consultation. Moreover, you won’t have to pay any legal fees until, and unless your attorney is successful in settling your claim or winning it after an administrative hearing.

Third: Continue to press your current treating physician for a medical determination of partial or full disability.

Moreover, If you believe you are disabled you can file a disability claim with the Social Security Administration. Unfortunately, to succeed in such a claim will also require substantial medical proof of disability.

The above is general information. Laws change frequently, and across jurisdictions. You should get a personalized case evaluation from a licensed attorney. Find a local attorney to give you a free case review here , or call (888) 647-2490.

Best of luck,

Published: May 27, 2014

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