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AMA Guide to Permanent Impairment, 6th edition
With a back injury I have no idea how you plan on working in the nursing field. I did Certified nurses aid work and I tell you that is the hardest work to do. Especially with your back. Lifting, bending etc. I would think that you definitly need to change your career and should start looking into something now.

As far as your extra 3 % to put you into a voc. program, I would speak to the doctor that did your rating. Ask about if the 3% was included and if not, why it should. This might not even help you , as even though your doctor will give you a rating, the IC might not agree with it and try to lower it. Also if you have already received a settlement check, then I would think you accepted the offer of the rating already. Good luck and hopefully things work out in your favor. Nothing really goes the way you like when working with WC.
carpal tunnel recurrence/ neuropathy / RSD.
1/29/07 injury date. Permanent. PIR settlement 8/4/08 10%
No, the nursing that I would be doing is something that my surgeon and the MMI doctor call a "clipboard nurse". They don't do any lifting, etc. The hospital here uses lots of those types.

As far as the settlement cheque goes. They just sent the first portion to me without me signing anything. And I haven't spent it either. They had that cheque in to post on the same day that they sent out the letter saying that I had been cleared to work. That is part of the reason why I was confused. I didn't even know that there would be money involved in a settlement at all. I thought that I would be just cleared for work...and that was all. So it just sits there. The letter stated that whether or not I signed to say how I wanted the money....it would be sent regardless.[/i]
The check you received sounds like PPD payments not an actual settlement. I can't remember if you have an attorney or not but if you do, have them look at the letter. If not, read the letter very carefully. These may be benefits you are entitled to as a matter of law and not as a settlement. Which could explain why they sent the check even though you haven't signed anything. Is the letter asking if you want the payments in a lump sum?

"If, after reaching maximum medical improvement, the claimant has a residual impairment, greater than zero, which is a percentage of medical impairment to the whole body, theinsurer/adjuster is required to pay out the permanent partial disability (PPD) liability biweekly, unless the claimant requests a lump sum. All unaccrued lump sum payments must be approved by the Department of Labor and Industry. [§§39-71-703 and 39-71-741, MCA]"
Thank you Kate,
Yes, that is exactly what it states. And it does ask if I want the rest of the payment in lump sum or structured payments. If I choose lump sum, they take 4% away from the overall settlement.

I also got a note from a mediater with the employment relations board here in Montana, who said that I could dispute the rating, but would need to pay for another MMI doctor to do it. Or I could use the mediators option, who would mediate on my behalf with workmans comp. I will see what my surgeon says on Monday with regards to the MRI, and make my decision then. She also told me that MT law does not give a cut off time to file a dispute against the rating.

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