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What do I do now? Colorado

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  • What do I do now? Colorado

    Back in 2002, I suffered a back injury (bulging L4-5). After therapy, I was released to return to full duty January 2003 with a permanent disability rating of 7%
    In July 2004, I reinjured the site and was placed on restrictions. Subsequently, I had surgery (discectomy) on the same site in May 2006. I have been out of work since surgery.
    I have reached MMI and have undergone a FCE. I am currently awaiting my assesment from my primary care physician.
    I understand that there is the strong possibility that I may not be able to return to the position I was hired at 5 years ago (delivery driver).
    My questions are - what other entitlements can I be eligible for? Would the rating be reduced based on the previous injury? Would it be possible for the PPD payments to remain the same as my TPD payments?

    Thank you in advance for any insight you may be able to offer.
    Last edited by MStrukus; 11-14-2006, 06:10 AM. Reason: addition

  • #2
    Are you represented? What was the outcome of the FCE? Geberally FCE's are done to either assess your ability to return to work when you have a multifaceted job and it is uncertain if you are able to perform all aspects of it, or to prepare you for voc rehab. If you don't know the direction the carrier is looking to go you need to ask. If represented, then your attorney should be on this.

    Why are you unable to return to yor former job? Is it for medical reasons or because your job is no longer available? It makes a difference.

    PPD payments do not continue in perpetuity. It is also very unlikely that they will be equal to what you have been receiving as TTD, but may be close to TPD. Not having any idea what you received for temp partial, it is impossible to say. Unless you are found to be Permanently and totally disabled (very very rare) payments for RRD are only for a set number of weeks based on a formula that takes into account your % and AWW.

    As for how this accident will affect your PPD, a lot depends on how this new accident was treated. Was it treated as a new claim or was it tacked on to the old?
    I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


    • #3
      I'm not being represented at the present time. I didn't feel it necessary until now. I am planning to contact an attorney this morning.
      My FCE was completed last Tuesday, so the "official results" are not in my posession.
      As for not being able to return to my current position, I should have said that I was uncertain if I would be able to return to work because of restrictions that will undoubtedly be placed upon me. One of my PCP's transcripts states "As far as his long-term forecast, if his symptoms remain the same it is unlikely he will be able to get back to employment in a heavier duty catagory." My company states that once I recieve my rating and restrictions, they will see if there is a position that can accomodate me.
      I have no idea at this time which way the insurance carrier is leaning regarding Voc Rehab.
      I understand that PPD is only temporary as this has happened to me before.
      My PCP stated that this is a reaggrivation of a pre exsisting injury. My guess is that I will need to contact the insurance carrier to find out which way they're classifying it.


      • #4
        Under Colorado 8-42-111.

        (3) A disabled employee capable of rehabilitation which would enable the employee to earn any wages in the same or other employment, who refuses an offer of employment by the same or other employer or an offer of vocational rehabilitation paid for by the employer shall not be awarded permanent total disability.
        Somedays you're the windshield and somedays you're the bug.


        • #5
          I finally recieved my FCE results and rating. I am rated 15% whole body impaired, with the understanding that the previous 7% will be offset from the prior injury and subsequent assesment. As for my FCE, I am classified in the medium to heavy duty catagory, with 50#occasionally, 20# frequently and 10#constant in the lifting catagory.
          I have an appointment with an attorney this morning. He did make mention in the initial consultation (phone) that it would be prudent to ask for an IME.
          What should I be asking him with regards to additional entitlements?


          • #6
            If you have been rated then you have already had an IME. I take it the one you had was set up by the employer/insurer and now the attorney wants you to have a second one with a doctor of his/your choosing. The ratings will likely be different and it will be a matter of negotiation and or hearing to come to a compromise on them.

            If you are unable to return to your job, then you ought to ask your attorney about voc rehab.
            I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.


            • #7
              My bad, you're right. My attorney wishes me to have another exam.

              As for returning to work in the position I was hired (delivery driver), my PCP stated that it would be unlikely that I would be able to return to the heavier duty catagory. My company is attempting to locate another position within the company (nationwide) for me, taking into consideration the restrictions placed by my PCP, which I am not objecting to.

              According to my attorney, Colorado does not require Voc Rehab for WC.

              A couple more questions...

              Once I've been rated, how soon afterwards will my TTD benefits end?

              While I'm in negotiations, would I still be eligible for compensation?

              Thank you for your insight .


              • #8
                See here for information regarding TTD
                (2) Temporary partial disability payments shall continue until the first occurrence of either one of the following:

                (a) The employee reaches maximum medical improvement; or

                (b) (I) The attending physician gives the employee a written release to return to modified employment, such employment is offered to the employee in writing, and the employee fails to begin such employment.

                Voc Rehab may still be negotiated. Speak to your lawyer for details.
                I post with the full knowledge and support of my employer, though the opinions rendered are my own and not necessarily representative of their position. In other words, I'm a free agent.