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  • Workers Comp Nevada - returning to light duty Nevada

    I will simply copy both documents then ask my question.

    Document 1 ----------------------------------------------------------
    Progress Note

    December 18, 2006

    Re: ME

    The patient return. He has completeed spinal injection therapy. He has had one shot of cervical selective nerve root blocks and two translaminar cervical epidural steroid injections. Selective nerve root blocks was performed in the right at C5 and C6. Immediatcly after the procedure, he had a 50% reduction in his headache pain, 90% reduction in his neck pain. Overall he is making progress.The sharp right sided neck pain is completely gone. He still has a dull ache that is more axial and some mild spasms. Headaches have been decreased to 4-5 out of 10. He still complains of significant difficulties with sleep. He is currently doing physical therapy at K___________ twice a week and chiropractic with Dr. ___________ one to two times a week. I recommend we increase him to five day a week regimine three times a week with physical therapy twice with chiropractor. I believe he is approaching maximum medical improvement. I suspect he will have neck pain to some degree for quite sometime.

    Physical Examination: Pain is 5 out of 10. Pulse is 52. Blood Pressure is 127/81. The patient has significantly improved range of motion. He has a bit of limitation to the right. He has full rotation to the left, full extention. He does have a little bit of pain with range of motion. He has some cervicle paravertebral tenderness slightly on the right, minimal spasm present. Neurologic exam, upper extremity is intact. Psychological Exam: Stable.

    Impression: Neck pain/cervicle strain after work related motor vehicle accident, disc osieophyle complex, cervicle sprain with facet joint arthropathy, suspect discogenic versus facet joint mediated pain with secondary spasm and myofascial pain syndrome.

    PLAN: Continue Darvocet and Flexoril as prescribed. The patient has refills. Add Ambian CR 6.25 mg. one p.o.g.h.s. Increase physical therapy frequency to three times a week and chiropractic frequency to twice a week, i.e. treatments five days a week combined. Work restrictions were indicated for light duty. The patient can work four hours a day, five days a week. No climbing, no reaching overhead. Lifting limit 15 pounds. Follow up one month for reevaluation and further treatment planning.

    (signed, sealed, stamped, delivered, etc.)



    Document 2 ------------------------------------------------------------

    Date 12/21/06

    TO: (My Employer)

    RE: Temporary Modified Job Offer

    Pursuant to NRS 616C.475(5B), the following Temporary Modified Job is being offered to (ME) effective (date 12/21/06). This position is within the restrictions imposed by Dr. _______ the treating physician.

    POSITION: Locksmith Office Assistant

    Brief Description:
    Filing, sorting, scanning, data entry, light benchwork, duplicating - cutting keys, phones incomming and outgoing

    Hours 20 - 40

    Rate of Pay: $8.00 HR

    Date Available 12-21-06 6-1-07

    (signed by General Manager) 12/21/06

    I acknowledge the above job offer and:

    _______ Accept the above temporary position.

    _______ Decline the above position*


    __________________________________________________ ____
    (Employee) (Dated)


    __________________________________________________ ____
    (Employer) (Dated)

    * Declining the temporary light duty will affect your temporary total disability benefits pursuant to NRS 616C.475



    Whew!
    The report above does not refer to my upper and mid back pain at all, I am also being perscibed Ultram ER by this doctor, but it is not listed? My pain is constant and was 4-5 at the time of my last examination while fully medicated. It sometimes reaches 7-8. I took 3 of the Ambian over 3 days and had a bad reaction on the third day -migranne -explosive vomitting. That was yesterday. The above report also fails to relate the fact that my HEADACHES have been one long unending headache and has yet to get below a 3 and is usually a 5 out of 10. Also failed to be reported is the constant ringing in my ears which has also been as constant as the headache. Also the now lessened feeling of nausea due to a gagging feeling in my throat since the accident.


    OK. I was earning approx 57000 in commission work. I earned more than the required max required compensation by the state. My job was a Locksmith - Safe Technician, I did quite a bit of heavy work, drilling and manuvering safes 200 pounds and more. I am now limited by the above understated medical evaluation. I also have back pain which has not been addressed except by the chiropractor. My old job was a road technician, I drove from site to site beginning from my home, visiting the Shop once or more a day and ending by returning home.
    To perform the job offered I will have to drive 22 miles one way to get to work, I cannot legally drive while medicated.

    Most of the job listing has nothing to do with my prior employment except the light benchwork and cutting keys, and most of the key boards extend much above shoulder height, pretty much eliminating that part of the job offer.

    I cannot drive much because the constant turning of my head to check mirrors is extremely painful when extended beyond a couple of minutes.

    Am I required to accept this offer while medicated to this degree and with these circustances?

    I have been locksmithing since I was 14 years old, I am 47, this is my only career. I have a AS in Computer Systems Analysis and Computer Programming, but I have never been employed as such other than self employed. I also find myself blocked from actual programming due to reduced mental capacity due to both the pain and medications.
    Last edited by KeyWiz; 12-26-2006, 08:11 AM.

  • #2
    Your employer is not psychic. They only have the doctor's reports to go by and if the doctor says those are your only restrictions, then those are the only ones they must accommdate. Actually, they don't technically have to accommodate them, but it is a really good idea if they do. They do not have accommodate what your doctor won't support or verify.

    Getting to work is your responsibility, not your employer's. Not to sound harsh but how you arrange to get there is up to you. There are plenty of others who make alternate arrangements when driving their personal vehicles isn't possible (car break down, family member needs to use it, non-work related illness, etc.). You are getting to therapy 5 days a week by some method, so there must be some means of transport available to you.

    While no one can force you to do light duty, if you turn it down, I would not count on receiving TTD benefits. It is far better to attempt light duty and try to work out any problems that occur once you do than flat out refuse. If your doctor is not being complete or is being inaccurate in his reports, you need to address that with the doctor.
    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.

    Comment


    • #3
      Missing the point

      I don't think I made my question clear enough, Am I required to accept a job that is offered for light duty which is offering me less than 1/4 of my earnings at the time of the accident. Am I covered for any future liability if I am working while medicated beyond "The Legal state of being Under the Influence of a Controled Substance?"

      Here are the relevant passages to the Law as I was able to determine:

      NRS 616C.475 Amount and duration of compensation; limitations; requirements for certification of disability; offer of light-duty employment.

      1. Except as otherwise provided in this section, NRS 616C.175 and 616C.390, every employee in the employ of an employer, within the provisions of chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS, who is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, or his dependents, is entitled to receive for the period of temporary total disability, 66 2/3 percent of the average monthly wage.

      2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 616B.028 and 616B.029, an injured employee or his dependents are not entitled to accrue or be paid any benefits for a temporary total disability during the time the injured employee is incarcerated. The injured employee or his dependents are entitled to receive such benefits when the injured employee is released from incarceration if he is certified as temporarily totally disabled by a physician or chiropractor.

      3. If a claim for the period of temporary total disability is allowed, the first payment pursuant to this section must be issued by the insurer within 14 working days after receipt of the initial certification of disability and regularly thereafter.

      4. Any increase in compensation and benefits effected by the amendment of subsection 1 is not retroactive.

      5. Payments for a temporary total disability must cease when:

      (a) A physician or chiropractor determines that the employee is physically capable of any gainful employment for which the employee is suited, after giving consideration to the employee’s education, training and experience;

      (b) The employer offers the employee light-duty employment or employment that is modified according to the limitations or restrictions imposed by a physician or chiropractor pursuant to subsection 7; or

      (c) Except as otherwise provided in NRS 616B.028 and 616B.029, the employee is incarcerated.

      6. Each insurer may, with each check that it issues to an injured employee for a temporary total disability, include a form approved by the Division for the injured employee to request continued compensation for the temporary total disability.

      7. A certification of disability issued by a physician or chiropractor must:

      (a) Include the period of disability and a description of any physical limitations or restrictions imposed upon the work of the employee;

      (b) Specify whether the limitations or restrictions are permanent or temporary; and

      (c) Be signed by the treating physician or chiropractor authorized pursuant to NRS 616B.527 or appropriately chosen pursuant to subsection 3 of NRS 616C.090.

      8. If the certification of disability specifies that the physical limitations or restrictions are temporary, the employer of the employee at the time of his accident may offer temporary, light-duty employment to the employee. If the employer makes such an offer, the employer shall confirm the offer in writing within 10 days after making the offer. The making, acceptance or rejection of an offer of temporary, light-duty employment pursuant to this subsection does not affect the eligibility of the employee to receive vocational rehabilitation services, including compensation, and does not exempt the employer from complying with NRS 616C.545 to 616C.575, inclusive, and 616C.590 or the regulations adopted by the Division governing vocational rehabilitation services. Any offer of temporary, light-duty employment made by the employer must specify a position that:
      (a) Is substantially similar to the employee’s position at the time of his injury in relation to the location of the employment and the hours he is required to work;

      (b) Provides a gross wage that is:

      (1) If the position is in the same classification of employment, equal to the gross wage the employee was earning at the time of his injury; or

      (2) If the position is not in the same classification of employment, substantially similar to the gross wage the employee was earning at the time of his injury; and


      (c) Has the same employment benefits as the position of the employee at the time of his injury.

      [Part 59:168:1947; A 1949, 659; 1951, 485; 1953, 292; 1955, 901]—(NRS A 1957, 72; 1959, 201; 1963, 837; 1965, 226; 1966, 43; 1969, 472; 1971, 322; 1973, 531; 1975, 253; 1983, 1295; 1985, 1548; 1991, 2422; 1993, 747, 1870, 2442; 1995, 579, 2155; 1997, 3348; 1999, 1789, 1790; 2001, 1897; 2003, 1673)

      Comment


      • #4
        Don't know how to make it any plainer. Yes they can require you to perform the light duty work. If you refuse, yes, they can cut off your benefits. If you are making substantially less in the light duty position, then you would be moslt likely entitled to temporary partial disability (usually half the difference between the new rate and the average weekly wage).
        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.

        Comment


        • #5
          So in your opinion these statements mean nothing?

          8. If the certification of disability specifies that the physical limitations or restrictions are temporary, the employer of the employee at the time of his accident may offer temporary, light-duty employment to the employee. If the employer makes such an offer, the employer shall confirm the offer in writing within 10 days after making the offer. The making, acceptance or rejection of an offer of temporary, light-duty employment pursuant to this subsection does not affect the eligibility of the employee to receive vocational rehabilitation services, including compensation, and does not exempt the employer from complying with NRS 616C.545 to 616C.575, inclusive, and 616C.590 or the regulations adopted by the Division governing vocational rehabilitation services. Any offer of temporary, light-duty employment made by the employer must specify a position that:
          (a) Is substantially similar to the employee’s position at the time of his injury in relation to the location of the employment and the hours he is required to work;

          (b) Provides a gross wage that is:

          (1) If the position is in the same classification of employment, equal to the gross wage the employee was earning at the time of his injury; or

          (2) If the position is not in the same classification of employment, substantially similar to the gross wage the employee was earning at the time of his injury; and

          Comment


          • #6
            I'm not seeing anything there that contradicts what I said. They gave you the offer in writing. Nothing you shared indicates that voc rehab is even an option let alone at stake here. TTD is not the same as voc rehab benefits.
            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.

            Comment


            • #7
              I don't get it.

              The law states that they must offer me:

              If the position is not in the same classification of employment, substantially similar to the gross wage the employee was earning at the time of his injury; and

              how is $8 an hour substantially similar to $29.94 an hour, which is the Wage calculated by Workmans Comp from my commisions at the time of the accident?

              Comment


              • #8
                You aren't reading the whole story. This is the section that would come into play here NRS 616C.500 Temporary partial disability: Compensation.

                1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2 and NRS 616C.175, every employee in the employ of an employer, within the provisions of chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS, who is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, is entitled to receive for a temporary partial disability the difference between the wage earned after the injury and the compensation which the injured person would be entitled to receive if temporarily totally disabled when the wage is less than the compensation, but for a period not to exceed 24 months during the period of disability.

                2. Except as otherwise provided in NRS 616B.028 and 616B.029, an injured employee or his dependents are not entitled to accrue or be paid any benefits for a temporary partial disability during the time the employee is incarcerated. The injured employee or his dependents are entitled to receive such benefits if the injured employee is released from incarceration during the period of disability specified in subsection 1 and he is certified as temporarily partially disabled by a physician or chiropractor.

                [61:168:1947; A 1953, 292]—(NRS A 1967, 878; 1973, 533; 1993, 751; 1997, 3349)


                In any case, you can still be required to return to the light duty job. What they pay you for that work is another matter.
                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.

                Comment


                • #9
                  Thanks

                  Thank you for your help, I have an appointment tomorrow with a WC lawyer. I still don't understand the ramifications of working while medicated.

                  I contacted my employer and was asking him about this and he said they were going to rescend the offer, since it was a MADE UP job, that they really had no use for. I tried to explain that I was not sure of the law and that he might want to check with his lawyer before rescending the offer, but he was adamant and said they would simply say there was no Light Duty available until I was able to return to full work status.

                  PS, what is the difference here between a Senior Member and a Moderator? I don't seem to be able to find that anywhere here.
                  Last edited by KeyWiz; 12-26-2006, 02:14 PM. Reason: PS

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Essentially if your doctor says you can work, your employer can expect you to work, medicated or not. In my experience there are very few times when medication alone will take someone out of work when light duty such as you describe is available. The whole purpose of WC is to get you back to work as soon as possible, not pay you to be out. Paying you TTD is the last resort so to speak.
                    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.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      After trying to read that post, I feel medicated myself!

                      A senior member is one that has posted for a certan number of posts. A moderator has the power of life and death on threads, posts, and members. (removal)

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Mis-Communication

                        I guess I was mislead by the fact that their paperwork cited 616C.475(5b) as the bases for the job offer, not 616C.500.
                        Last edited by KeyWiz; 12-26-2006, 02:34 PM.

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by GotSmart View Post
                          After trying to read that post, I feel medicated myself!

                          A moderator has the power of life and death on threads, posts, and members. (removal)
                          1. I couldn't agree more; or that I should be medicated. I just let our resident WC expert handle it. (Hi, Elle)

                          2. Yes, she does. And she wields it quite fairly.
                          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Letter of the Law

                            I'm sorry, but I have read every single line of this law and I still don't see where my employer can offer me a light duty job at a rate which is so divergent from what I was making at the time of my accident. The papers given to me plainly site NRS 616C.475 (5b) which in turn refers to the offering of Light Duty as required by the employer. Where does any thing say that they can offer me such a low paying position?
                            From what I am seeing, the section you quoted

                            "1. Except as otherwise provided in subsection 2 and NRS 616C.175, every employee in the employ of an employer, within the provisions of chapters 616A to 616D, inclusive, of NRS, who is injured by accident arising out of and in the course of employment, is entitled to receive for a temporary partial disability the difference between the wage earned after the injury and the compensation which the injured person would be entitled to receive if temporarily totally disabled when the wage is less than the compensation, but for a period not to exceed 24 months during the period of disability."

                            refers to a situation where I have ACCEPTED and PERFORMED at a lower rate of pay after my accident and what the Administrator of the Insurance is required to cover for TTD after that point.

                            This has not occured, so far there has only been an offer and In case you didn't realize, cutting keys is considered running mechanicaly powered equipment, which is specifically excluded on the medication description.

                            Can you show me where the law says an employer can offer a light duty job which is at a significantly lower rate of pay? It seems to me that section NRS 616C.475 (8.B.2) states quite clearly what they are REQUIRED to offer as a Light Duty position.

                            Are you saying that this provision is simply non-binding? Then why is it part of the LETTER of THE LAW? Why was this section on the paperwork provided by the Insurance Company?

                            If what you are saying is true, then Section 8.b.1 and 8.b.2 are both there simply to TRICK people into declining cheap pay offers for light duty so that the Insurance Company can deny their claim. Or is there some overriding Law which is not made known to me which allows an employer to offer any wage they want to an injured party? The way you are telling me, they could offer me $1 an hour, which if I accepted, would bring my compensation down to an average of 66 2/3% of the average between $1 an hour and $29.94 an hour which is $10.47 an hour. This all seems to be very underhanded if true.
                            Of course I learned a long time ago that the law has nothing to do with justice, so you could be right, I just can't find the relitive law that says this can be done the way you are saying.

                            It makes me wonder if anyone here is actually a lawyer, and if not, your OPINIONS are worthless.
                            Last edited by KeyWiz; 12-27-2006, 05:31 AM.

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Since you don't like anyone's FREE advice given here I would suggest that you go and hire an attorney to represent you. You are more than free to do that. All you have to do is let your fingers do the walking through the yellow pages of your local phone book. Probably tons of lawyers in Nevada who would love to take your case and eventually your money as well. Good luck.

                              Comment

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