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Gene....I am right beside Limbo in this. I don't know what my attoreny does withis free time BUT while he's working for me is always professional. That is BS that he has to have cocktails with DR.s to sway their decisions. You want an honest opinion about your health, treatment and legal issues. Not from someone who is half bagged. That is a disgrace and I feel it is grounds for wrongful representation. An attornye has to be able to stand on thier own knowledge and experience to do us right. Please loook into alerting the bar about his behaviour and maybe interviewing a coupld of other attorneys. Let us know.

I actually talked to a couple of other lawyers Fri but they saying since my case has already went so far that I will have to get all my paperwork together from the doc and hospital, etc. I don't know about you guys but at $25 a pop I can't afford it right now. I just do not know what to do. I wonder if I would be shooting myself in the foot if I just fired him and tried to do this on my own. I've learned alot since I started this mess since I have had to do alot of the footwork myself to fix this idiots mistakes. I guess I thought if I hired someone new that they would contact all the people involved with the case instead of me having to do it.
I have contacted the local Bar association to see what can be done but from what the person told me basically if I don't have witnesses or recordings that it would be my word against his since he can still go back and fix his mistakes. I did get them to put his name on the complaint list but I don't figure that will do any good.
All I want to do is get my surgeries and get well. I really don't think that is asking too much. I don't think we should have to go through all this drama just to get what should be our right.
I will keep everyone updated since I have a couple of more lawyers I am going to talk to Monday. Keep your fingers crossed.
Thanks for the support...
Gene, you are in the state of GA and you are entitled to a copy of all of your records without charge. You can get the composite through the insurance company. Read the GA regulations they have to give it to you and can not charge you for it.

YES you would be shooting yourself in the foot to not have another attorney commited to take your case before discharging the current idiot that you have. DO NOT EVEN CONSIDER TAKING ON THE INSURANCE COMPANY ON YOUR OWN. That is one you don't even want to consider and you will still end up paying the 25% to the attorney's up to the amount they have currently secured for you. Only amounts over what is currently on the table are they not entitled to share in.

You have posted about this on the labor law talk board and way back then I and several others told you the same exact thing you are being told here. Shi^ can that worthless attorney and find one that is representing you and your best interests. DO NOT UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCES DROP THAT SSDI CLAIM. You are only screwing yourself if you do.

Limbo has advised you very wisely to not even consider only 1 year open on medicals. This is in YOUR BEST INTEREST. You need open medical for a heck of a lot longer than one year with the issues you have going on.

If my memory serves me correctly you have multiple level problems in your spine right? You need to keep appealing that SSDI application until it is approved. Don't care how long it takes. Once you get it in front of an ALJ it is likely to be approved. Yes this can take some time but in the mean time all that back pay is adding up. If you drop the application now you forfiet every penny of it and start over from square one.

Medicare set asides are in place to protect you and guarantee that your health is taken care of. Any attorney worth a damn is going to get the MSA in addition to any PPD you are entitled to. And if they don't you DON"T have to agree to the settlement.

The Utica Mohawk or Hartman language is what Cap was telling you about. What it does is shows the settlement spread out over time so that the off set for SSDI is tremendously reduced. Like Cap told you less than $100.00/mo. This language in the settlement is absoulutely mandatory for IW in the exact position you are in.

My next question to you is why are you even talking about a settlement when you are obviously NOT at MMI? You still have two major corrective procedures and you nor your docs can say with any certainty what the outcome will be, especially with spinal surgery.

You need to get your eyes off that potential hunk of money for right now and concentrate on getting as well as you are likely to get. Tell your current attorney to take a leap at a rolling donut, that you are not interested in settlement until you are done with those surgeries. Then and only IF all goes well you might be safe to take a 1 year open medical and a lump sum settlement. I would still insist on a MSA even at this point.

I can guarantee you Medicare has been privy to the underhanded workings in the private insurance industry, mainly WC, for a good while and they take those MSA's very seriously, and you should as well. Don't jeopardize getting proper care for yourself in the future for a few quick bucks in your pocket today. You will likely regret it long before that money runs out.

You are being EXTORTED not only by the WC IC but your own attorney as well. Have they given any of this BS to you in writting? Hopefully they are as DUMB as they think you are and you have something from either the IC or your attorney in writting that says they want you to drop the SSDI or they won't settle. Take that to an attorney and to the state bar, make sure you have several copies made as you just might need them. I expect I just wasted several lines of text as I doubt that they gave you anything in writing. They can not legally extort you that way and they know it.

Bully tactics only work on nimble and week willed folks. Buck your
back up, no pun intended, and fight them for all you are worth. Your medical condition is far too serious to let them sell you short. You are worthy of not seeling yourself so short as well.

Take Care GeneGene

ND Cool
genegene Wrote:Amen, Cap. You see the company that the LTD hired to get me on SSDI is going to get the back pay if I ever get on it so my attorney is out on that end.

Gene you need to have this checked by a SS attorney. New laws have been enacted to prohibit the LTD IC's from recovering from SSDI. Actually it isn't exactly new laws but enforcement of SS bylaws that have always been in effect. NO one can attach any portion of your SSDI except for the expenses contracted to with a SS attorney on the claim. Not bill collectors, not child support enforcement agencies, not even taxing agencies, AND CERTAINLY NOT GREEDY LTD INSURANCE COMPANIES. They don't mind taking the premium to pay for the coverage but they somehow get the idea that they are entitled to recover what they pay out from your SSDI. They CANNOT do this.

I know this to be a fact as this past Feb I finally got my ALJ hearing, (got a fully favorable decision by the way WITHOUT an attorney), from a claim I filed for a closed period of disability from 08/2005-11/2006. During which time I drew STD then LTD after the first 5 months. In fact had the LTD not forced me to file the SS I would not have done so. Guess I should have at least called them up and thanked them for the extra 15 grand but I didn't. When I called SS about this they were very clear that the LTD nor anyone but for the attorney'(s) contracted in the SS case could legally lay claim to one cent of any award for SSD. Call SS yourself and ask them about it.

The policy the LTD company will hold under your nose and insist that they have it in writing that they will recover is NOT worth the paper it is written on. SS will tell you straight up that you can not be held to a contract that isn't legal and what they are trying to do is NOT LEGAL.
Since we're on SSD I have a question. My plan at some point is to retire and apply for disability through my pension. I have already talked to these people , know how much my check will be for life and they even offer $100 towards my healthe benefits as long as I am on the employers or the pension groups. In my case My employer has to offer me their benefits, of course at my expense IF i retire on disability. I would also like to apply for SSD. Will my pension check alter my SSD check. I am really confused about what I have read. I am understanding that you can only make 80% of your salary, but have also read that a personal pension plan does not affect SSD. Very confused. If SSD will be affected by my pension I will lose half of the SSD check. I'm not ready to do any of this yet but would like all my ducks in one basket when I do and don't want to mess myself up.

Thanks friends. So basically I can call the case manager and have her send copies of all my medicals and it won't cost anything or do I need to go directly to the doctors and hospitals. I think she will send all my records, she has been very decent throughout this mess.
You are right. Driver there is nothing in writing that they have sent at all. Just phone calls. They said they wanted me to sign an affadavit saying I dropped my application but I haven't seen anything out of them.
I asked the reason behind the LTD getting the back pay on SSDI and was told it was because my application was before the new law went into affect so they could do it. Obviously according to Cap that was a lie...My comp did the same thing and forced me to file for the SSDI but sent paperwork for me to sign that states they get the backpay. I wonder if they can use that against me?
The only reason I even discussed settlement talks was to get out of this system and to try to avoid bankruptcy. My better half has just had surgery and was out of work for 3 months with very little income coming in and we all know what my WC is. I wanted to have enough for my son to go to college (he just graduated high school) and we ended up having to use what little we had in his college fund for bills. He had to go to work and his grades fell in a hurry so no scholarships...
I'm not whining, or trying not to, just trying to explain. Sometimes it gets to the point when you just want to say forget it, just give me what you want to and let me live again.
One of the arguments attorney is using for a early settlement is if I wait till after the surgeries my disability rating will go down and so will the amount they are offering. I assume that is another scare tactic. Or is it true?
Thanks so much for all the info...
Gene, the LTD and SSDI law is NOT new it is just NEWLY being enforced. No they can not enforce that contract that they will get the back pay. Talk to SS they can give you the exact statue that supports this.

As for your son and his college funds. I have gone through the exact same thing, my youngest who graduated HS in 2006. Get the FASFA paperwork in and apply for federal student loans as well as the pell grant. He can attend most any community college in GA for around $1,300.00 per semester including books. Regardless of what college or university he plans to attend getting the "core" studies out of the way at a community is the way to go and gives him the same credits as if he attended a much pricier university those first two years. The credits are transferrable to other institutions.

Pell grants are never repaid and student loans are deferred until 5 months after he graduates college or drops out. Also IF he is able to maintain a B or better average the first semester he then qualifies for the Hope Scholarship Grant in the state of GA. Also check on the kids chance as this is only available to children of parents disabled on the job.

Even if it came down to him not attending the first year it isn't the end of the world. Yes I know when you have certain plans for your kid for 18 years then it all seems to be upended it isn't easy to deal with. It still isn't the end of the world. Many kids take the first year after HS off to "find themselves" or just take an education break. For many this really helps them be more successful when they do enter the higher learning arena. There are a number of kids who attend college and never have a pennies worth of support from the parents and do just fine. Your son will be as well.

I fully understand your frustrations GeneGene and appreciate your thoughts of getting the settlement over with to resolve some of the very important issues you are dealing with. I would just hate to see you cut yourself so very short for the future.

On the disability ratings. It part it will depend on what kind of surgery is involved. If there is spinal fusion involved almost always rasies the disability rating as they then have to take into account the loss of ROM once the fusion is placed in the spine. This is one you can't necessarity take to the back as all injuries, bodies, and surgeries are different. The main thing you have got to keep in mind is putting your health FIRST. Above and beyond everything else.

Cap, I wish I had some information for you pertaining to your medical retirement. Unfortunately, I am not at all familiar with the workings of the type of plan you have and would not be comfortable offering any type of "advise" as my knowledge is very limited in this area. Some of the others here will no doubt be able to answer your questions and help guide through the process.
Morning New Driver.....I actually found what I was looking for on the SSD site. A private pension as mine does not affect your SSD check. That's nice to know.

Thanks so much for the website, Driver. I just sent for information and an application. I had never heard of this before..Sounds great...
They are planning to do a fusion if and when they can quit fighting over me and decide when they are doing it. Docs are wanting to do it from the front for better healing but WC doesn't want to pay the extra charges involved. I know sseveral of you have had fusions, how long does recovery usually take if everything goes as planned. That was my main concern with the year of open medicals, I dont think I will be over the fusion in that time, much less the total knee replacement.
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