***Sorry this is so long. I didn't realize it was so long as I typed.
Oh my gosh, I can't believe I found this. I completely forgot I posted this. I was just here looking for answers on the same claim like I was when I posted before and stumbled onto it. Please forgive me, I forgot all about it. I had alot going on at that time.
Well a lot has happened since then and now I am again in sort of the same situation I explained in the latter half of the first post. Shortly after I posted that, SAIF wanted me to go to some clinic in Portland for a month, PRA, Progressive Rehab Associates. When I explained to my claims adjuster that I needed to be home to seek employment to still qualify for unemployment benefits she informed me that SAIF would pay me Time Loss. When I asked why they weren't paying me Time Loss back in October of 2008, after a short pause and a long "Uuuhhhh....", she replied that they should have been and apparently I just fell through "the cracks". Great!!
So as of the beginning of August, "09 until recently, I was receiving Time Loss benefits pretty close to what my unemployment was in dollars.
Now they have denied my claim and I get nothing, no more Time Loss, no permanent partial disability, nothing. Some months ago, I remember getting a letter from SAIF amending the acceptance of my claim from the original lumbar strain to the torn and bulging disc. It also mentioned something to the effect of me also having some sort of disc degeneration which I assumed was because of the disc being injured. I learned recently and was unaware at the time that that was SAIF covering their butt. One of the IME's they sent me to decided that the disc degeneration or degenerative disc disease was pre-existing and that I am now medically stationary. I know that the only doctor who is allowed to determine if I'm medically stationary is my own physician but apparently the IME sent that report to my primary doctor and I don't know if he just skimmed through it, missed part of it or really does agree but he concurred and that qualified the same as my doctor deciding that I am medically stationary. And since he concurred with the IME who said that the disc degeneration was pre-existing, SAIF denied my claim after almost 2 years because the job related portion of my injury is no longer the major contributing cause of my "PROBLEM".
As far as I know, there was NO pre-existing anything. I have an attorney now but he seems skeptical but is going to try to get me something. He said I should have come to him months ago but everyone I spoke to said don't bother getting an attorney until I have a Notice of Closure because most of them will tell me to just come back once I do.
I don't care about the system. I don't care about large sums of money. I don't want a free ride or hand out from anybody. All I care about is the immense pain I live with 24 hours a day, paying my bills and debts, providing for my family and not losing the roof over our heads we recently acquired. We were homeless for about 9 months including when I posted the first post last year. I really thought what would happen in my case was..... doctor would find me medically stationary, claim closes, decent disability award, find me eligible for retraining, finally get some sort of degree in computers like I've been wanting for a few years anyway to get a good career in a field that is never going to go away and also would not bother my back, and get on with my life. I've worked on computers for 9 years, all self taught, no degrees.
Now, because they denied my claim, all that is out the window. So now I am back to where I was a year ago. My Time Loss stopped a couple weeks ago and i am on what's left of my unemployment on the first tier of the EUC. And thanks to the good old legislature boys, as of April(now May), I am not allowed to advance to any other tiers of the EUC extended unemployment insurance benefits. Great, huh?!
I have about 6 or 7 more weeks of payments and that's it! So on the days i don't wake up totally depressed, I'm scrambling to find a job and in basically the same situation I was in in the first post except no more unemployment. I don't know what to do. We spent 9 months homeless. We just got this 2 bedroom apartment. we are struggling just to pay the rent and electric. Besides that, there's still the car payment, insurance and other bills. My wife isn't supposed to and really can't work. She has a worse back than mine and is in the middle of battling Social Security for SSI and SSD. The economy is a little better than it was a year ago but not out of the woods yet. Whatever few jobs are out there, only a smal few I could actually do and almost all am not qualified for. Almost every job U see requires some sort of lifting and/or twisting. Even washing dishes requires certain repetitive lifting that is against my work restrictions. Most certainly anything I may find will be minimum wage and even if it's 40 hours, it will only pay me almost to the dollar the same as my unemployment and time Loss benefits I was getting which is still not enough. I'll take whatever I can get but who's going to hire me? I am already injured, already on light duty and already a liability to employers. As i said, there isn't much out there to begin with. Whatever jobs are out there, only a few I can pick from and out of that few, no one's going to want to hire me. In 7 weeks, ALL income is GONE!!!!
I wake up every day hoping like hell the pain isn't so bad that I can't get out of bed. If I DO make it out of bed and I'm not depressed, I still go look at jobs and there's next to nothing out there and almost all of them I can't do because of my back. I don't know what to do. There has to be more benefits i should be getting. My attorney is appealing the denial AND the claim closure but even he wasn't sure how well we'll do. He feels it might be best if we just try to get a settlement which will be substantially lower than if things had gone the other way. And even if we do settle, all the extended medical coverage, awards, retraining, aggravation rights.....all gone!!
Again, sorry so long. I didn't realize it was getting so long as i typed but there's not much i don't want left in. thank you for reading.