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WC in Colorado Colorado

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  • WC in Colorado Colorado

    I was injured on the job about 2 months ago. I was only out of work for 2 days and returned on modified duty. Since then I have attended every required doctor appointment and physical therapy. My employer has now started taking my vacation and sick time to cover the hours I am out for these appointments. I make every attempt to schedule the appointments on my days off but many times I can't. I am seeing a PT now twice weekly and 2 doctors regularly for followups. My vacation and sick time will not last much longer..PLEASE help..IS THIS LEGAL???????? I want to stop them but do not know if I can. Also should I be getting paid for these appointments? I been told many times that I should, but CO WC says they are not required to pay me. Please help!!!

  • #2
    To my knowledge the WC carrier is correct (they would know better than we would), you do not have to be paid by them for your appointments. However, we do have a responder here expert in WC laws and hopefully he will be by within a day or two.

    And there is no law prohibiting the employer from charging your vacation or sick time for your absences, even if they are related to your on-the-job injury.

    Sorry, I'm sure that's not what you wanted to hear.
    Last edited by Pattymd; 07-23-2010, 02:52 PM.
    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

    Comment


    • #3
      Thank you. No that's not what I want to hear but unfortunately it may be the way it is. Boy WC laws suck. I have to go to the appointments or my coverage will be denied but I get penalized when I can't schedule appointments during off-duty times.(and WC doctors aren't very empathetic) Doesn't make sense to me..It's not my fault I got injured. Catch-22. I just want to be normal again..many months til then..YEAH

      Comment


      • #4
        The only state that requires the employER to compensate the IW for time loss to treat the injury/illness is Connecticut.

        In CO, there is a 3 day waiting period before TTD would be due, if you are out 14 days, the first 3 would be paid.
        For you to be paid wage loss/TTD, you first must be off for the minimum days to qualify.
        8-42-103 (a) If the period of disability does not last longer than three days from the day the employee leaves work as a result of the injury, no disability indemnity shall be recoverable except the disbursement provided in articles 40 to 47 of this title for medical, surgical, nursing, and hospital services, apparatus, and supplies, nor in any case unless the division has actual knowledge of the injury or is notified thereof within the period specified in said articles.

        (b) If the period of disability lasts longer than two weeks from the day the injured employee leaves work as the result of the injury, disability indemnity shall be recoverable from the day the injured employee leaves work.
        The WC Act is here http://www.coworkforce.com/dwc/WCAct...f_overpayments. As you can see in reading through this, it's not always an easy answer whether "can they do this legally?", or not. There are lots of variables to what benefits are due.
        As you see, you must be ''disabled'' by your Dr to be paid wage loss.

        As your ER is not required to pay wages for time you treat, you may be eligible for UI benefits.... would depend on those rules, and the amount of your wage loss.
        EmployER's don't pay ''disability'' WC carriers do.

        So... the only way you'd be paid wage loss benefits (TTD) is if your ER cannot accommodate any restrictions you may have, or you cannot perform the light duty job functions your ER has provided. In that case, you go back to your Dr and request a status change from TPD/Temp Partial Disability to a TTD status.
        There may be TPD benefits due, depending on your wage loss...
        8-42-106. Temporary partial disability. (1) In case of temporary partial disability, the employee shall receive sixty-six and two-thirds percent of the difference between said employee's average weekly wage at the time of the injury and said employee's average weekly wage during the continuance of the temporary partial disability, not to exceed a maximum of ninety-one percent of the state average weekly wage per week.

        (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.
        As you can see, all of the benefits that may be due are based on what your Dr says, and what you and the ER can do regarding your return to work issues.
        IMHO... you are fortunate to have an ER that permits the use of vacation/PTO/sick time for your wage replacement to treat your injury.

        BTW... if you are eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA, you should consider that request. FMLA provides job protection as well as ER paid benefits up to 12 weeks/annum. Filing a claim for WC benefits offers NO job protections.

        I have a question here too... when you leave work to treat your injury/PT, or see your Dr for follow up evaluation, do you take the full day, or leave/return to work ? And, is this at the recommendation of your Dr ?
        Point is... you are eligible to wage replacement for what is ''medically necessary''. IE, if you schedule a PT at the beginning of the work day, you wouldn't take the entire day off work.
        You are eligible to mileage reimbursement for medically necessary trips though...

        You might want to become familiar with the settlement procedure for IW's in pro se, http://www.colorado.gov/cs/Satellite...&ssbinary=true

        Comment


        • #5
          One minor clarification to CAIW's post (and I'm sure it's just a typo). FMLA is, by definition, unpaid, although the employer and employee CAN agree to use vacation/sick time to supplement WC benefits under certain conditions.
          I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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          • #6
            I wonder if CAIW meant by ER paid "benefits" - benefits such as employer paid portion of health ins. premiums? It's not clear though. FMLA (itself) is unpaid leave unless something like vacation pay/sick pay is used for income.
            Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

            Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

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            • #7
              BTW... if you are eligible for unpaid leave under FMLA, you should consider that request. FMLA provides job protection as well as ER paid benefits up to 12 weeks/annum. Filing a claim for WC benefits offers NO job protections.
              ThanX girls...sorry if that wasn't clear...but appreicate the help to clarify

              I sure wouldn't claim to be fluent in FMLA... I use the cheat sheet...http://www.ppspublishers.com/articles/fmla.htm#6. Can an employee on WC leave be required to use vacation or sick leave...which is very basic.
              Can an employee on WC leave be required to use vacation or sick leave?
              The FMLA allows employers to require employees, or employees to elect, to substitute accrued vacation, sick, or other paid leave for all or part of the 12 weeks of unpaid leave. Employees on WC leave typically receive up to two-thirds of their normal pay as a wage benefit under state law. In recognition of this benefit, the FMLA regulations do not allow the use of paid leave if the employee is receiving workers’ compensation, even to make the employee "whole" or if requested by the employee. However, the employer may designate the leave as FMLA leave and count it against the employee’s 12-week FMLA entitlement.
              I don't believe the op here is on a paid WC leave...but has RTW in a light duty/modified capacity. (?). Don't know the FMLA status, I just wanted to point out the option of job/benefit protection if there were need. If the ER feels there are Too many PT/follow up Dr visits, FMLA would be a good idea.

              Comment


              • #8
                Did you hear that, Betty3? He called us "girls".
                I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                • #9
                  It's Saturday ! Everyone needs a 'kiss'.... at least once a week...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by CAIW View Post
                    It's Saturday ! Everyone needs a 'kiss'.... at least once a week...
                    Works for me!
                    I don't respond to Private Messages unless the moderator specifically refers you to me for that purpose. Thank you.

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                    • #11
                      Wow, thanks, CAIW - works for me too!!
                      Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around. Leo Buscaglia

                      Live in peace with animals. Animals bring love to our hearts and warmth to our souls.

                      Comment

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