Back to work to soon - Printable Version
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Back to work to soon - greenbean - 04-11-2011 08:49 PM
Hello from OK
My husband works in construction and had a torn rotator cuff. He went on WC about 4 1/2 months ago. He was supposed to have the surgery sooner but had a slip and fall breaking his wrist. He could have caught himself from falling but couldn't lift up his arm high enough or fast enough to do that. His doctor said that WC wouldn't pay for the broken wrist bills since, even though he could have prevented it if it weren't because of his arm, he didn't break it while on the job.
He had to wait until his wrist healed before having the shoulder surgery. Several weeks ago they took the cast off his wrist and he had the surgery about 2 weeks ago. To exercise his shoulder after surgery, his doctor told him to take his arm out of the sling and hang it down doing the circles and back and forth movements, which my husband did.
My husband went back to see the doctor today to have the stitches removed and to assess his progress. The doctor told him to continue doing those exercises and to include raising his arm up. Then the doctor told him that he was releasing him to go back to work on light duty and not to use that arm. This is 2 weeks after the surgery and no work hardening or anything.
The company that my husband works for only has one person to do the construction work, which is my husband. My husband told the doctor that he would not be able to do all of the construction work needed since he would be the only worker. He wouldn't be able to unload the heavy materials and equipment, climb ladders and hang on while using his good arm to do the work, etc., etc., etc. The doctor then told him to "be creative" in doing the work one handed.
My husband hadn't gotten a lawyer because he figured that he'd have the surgery, they'd send him to PT, or similar, and he'd heal up and the doctor would release him to go back to work as soon as he was able to use his arm ... not 2 weeks after the surgery with only the use of one arm.
The owners of the company have been extremely super throughout this, they've been a very good go between with my husband and the WC case worker.
So I guess my questions are .. if my husband tells his boss about what the doctor had said, would his boss have any standing in telling the WC case worker that my husband isn't fit enough to do the work yet and that he should have the PT and heal up for awhile longer before returning to work? If WC won't take his bosses opinion what should my husbands next step be?
RE: Back to work to soon - bronco54501 - 04-11-2011 09:17 PM
Was this dr his choice or was he told to see him.. I believe he has the right for a second oppinion. Often drs try to get you back to work, but on restricted duty.. You may want his employer to write up his job description/duties and bring it back to his dr for aproval.. His dr may not understand all his duties and may re-write some kind of restrictions..
And yes his boss can have a say so... When my dr released me on certain restrictions, my boss said if I cant perform at 100% then I wasnt able to work until I was able..
But if his dr and his employer agree with him being able to return then he must try.. If he is unable or pain is unbarable he needs to tell his boss and ask for medical attention/ see his dr...
RE: Back to work to soon - 1171 - 04-11-2011 09:19 PM
your husband may not be fit enough to do all the work but he should be able to do some.
under ADA rules the employer and the employee should discuss modified work and making reasonable accommodation given the workers restrictions.
workers comp does not require full healing or a return to full duty. most comp systems recommend modified work arrangement to speed recovery and minimize the financial losses.
if there is a loss of wages due to modified or alternative work most states will pay partial disability until maximum medical improvement is attained.
your husband should discuss the options with his boss.
while the employer may have some influence with the carrier he cannot approve disability payments or authorize disability time.
given the doctors opinion i doubt much would change.
the laws are different in each state and without knowing your husbands I can't give any specific information.
RE: Back to work too soon - greenbean - 04-11-2011 11:32 PM
The state is OK.
Thank you very much for the replies.
The doc is the one that WC sent him to.
He is basically in a one person construction environment, doing every thing except for the jobs that need licensing. The jobs are typically housing and can be anything from new construction to remodeling.
The jobs tend to consist of pretty much everything ... framing, roofing, sheetrocking, woodwork, painting, tiling, ripping out old and putting in new, etc., etc. Generally there isn't much that he can do with the use of only one arm. He wouldn't be able to load/unload/carry the heavy equipment/materials, use some of the equipment/materials, climb/work off of ladders .. well, the list can go on. So there really isn't anything to modify, other than his boss hiring someone to do the work and then pay my husband to supervise .. which wouldn't happen.
So what happens now that the doc released him for light duty? Does WC automatically stop sending the checks now? Do they contact his boss and discuss it with him first? What can we expect to happen?
RE: Back to work to soon - 1171 - 04-12-2011 12:45 AM
oklahoma does not pay temporary partial disability.
If the employer has no light duty that is within your husbands restrictions TTD will continue.
your husband should be pro-active and if the employer is not going to provide light work they should notify the carrier to that effect.
your husband still may consider changing doctors.
information is here
RE: Back to work too soon - greenbean - 04-12-2011 02:00 AM
Thank you very much for the response and the link 1171.
My husband will get with his boss today and see if things can get squared away.
From everything online that I'd read about that kind of surgery, it seems to take about 3 months, more or less, to get to the point of being able to lift up to 10 pounds. It kind of surprised me that the doctor is wanting to send him off to work after only 2 weeks. In the link you've added it looks like my husband would have to petition the court to change doctors so I guess that's something my husband will have to think about and probably discuss with his boss.
Thank you again for your time.
RE: Back to work to soon - greenbean - 10-05-2011 11:06 PM
My husband ended up going through PT not too long after my last post on here. He finished the PT after about 2 months and was released to go back to work. He's still hurting and there are some things that he has trouble doing, or can't do, but he's doing his best.
He recently received a rather odd call from the WC guy and we don't really know what to make of it. The WC guy said that he couldn't discuss it until my husband filled out and return a form but that what he has to say could be beneficial to him. The only other thing that the WC guy said is that if my husband has any problems in the future with his shoulder because of that injury then it would be covered by WC. We received the form and it's has several yes or no questions which basically ask if he's ever been on or applied for SSDI and if he is thinking about filing for SSDI.
My husband had thought about SSDI but hadn't thought too hard about it since he would make more money by working, even if it hurts. He's not really sure how to answer the question about his thinking of filing for it.
But the main thing is about what the WC guy said about what he has to say could be beneficial to him .. has anyone filled out a form like that and/or have any idea about what the WC guy is hinting at?
RE: Back to work to soon - 1171 - 10-06-2011 02:39 AM
the thing to wonder about is how he got your husbands name.
sounds a lot like a sales lead and focused marketing techniques.
"the hook" is to get you curious; when you try to find out more it's a slippery slope---especially when you sign or authorize anything.
they need to tell your husband out who/what he works for and then check them out. if there is any hesitation or double talk---walk.
if it's a con, they absolutely will not allow you to do any kind of background check on them or who they represent,
RE: Back to work to soon - greenbean - 10-06-2011 05:51 PM
(10-06-2011 02:39 AM)1171 Wrote: the thing to wonder about is how he got your husbands name.It's the same guy from WC that has been handling my husbands case since day one. He actually seemed to be pretty decent in how he dealt with my husband.
RE: Back to work to soon - LeglEgl - 10-06-2011 06:45 PM
(10-06-2011 05:51 PM)greenbean Wrote:(10-06-2011 02:39 AM)1171 Wrote: the thing to wonder about is how he got your husbands name.It's the same guy from WC that has been handling my husbands case since day one. He actually seemed to be pretty decent in how he dealt with my husband.
And Al Capone always said "keep your friends close to you, and your enemies even closer".