07-23-2009, 11:45 AM
I was fired from my job after fracturing my bones in my knee and tearing my ACL, MCL, meniscus while at work.
I have been out of work since 3/19/09. Apparently this is a long recovery time (6-9 months). I was not able to drive and could barely walk. The nurse that is handling my workman's compensation claim has set me up with Physical Therapy and a surgeon. The surgeon gave me two scenarios: 1) continue physical therapy for another 6-9 months until I am walking and driving normally, then discuss surgery 2) because I am on workman's compensation, he has an obligation to get me back to work asap so surgery will have to be scheduled sooner. (Problem is: I was let go from my teaching job- I don't have a job but need to find one before the school year starts in late August)
The surgery is elective but the surgeon highly recommends it since there is a high risk of future injury to my meniscus and arthritis in my older years. I am already 40, so my older years will be here sooner than I want to admit.
I still walk with a limp and do not feel comfortable driving yet since I cannot move my injured leg quickly enough to move from the gas pedal to the brake quickly enough. For fear of injuring someone else I have not chosen to drive. It's just a matter of time before I am able to walk and drive normally. I am hoping within the month.
Here's the problem:
I am a school teacher and only have a short window of time to find a new job. I postponed surgery from June 22nd to July 27th hoping I would be able to find a job and get off workman's compensation and obtain medical insurance before it runs out 8/31/09. Surgery can be postponed until next summer.
I have sent out 15+ application packets to numerous school districts and have heard nothing.....until two days ago! I have a job interview and the only day they have set aside for the interview committee to come in is Wednesday, July 29th! That's two days after my ACL knee reconstruction surgery!
If I have the surgery on 7/27, I cannot attend the interview and will be out of a chance to get a job and will remain on workman's compensation for 8-12 more weeks and then switch to umemployment until I find a temporary job to run the course of the school year. Unfortunately, these jobs are hourly/daily rates and do not offer insurance.
I can postpone my surgery but the next available date is 9/28! If I go to the interview and get the job I can wait for surgery until next summer and make sure the surgery is scheduled early in June. If I don't get the job, i still have surgery scheduled and will continue on my workman's compensation then unemployment until I find a job.
Has anyone ever been in this situation where they were fired, put on workman's compensation, needed surgery at some point, but needed to find a new job at the same time for fear of running out of medical benefits? How does the insurance company handle this type of situation?
Am I wrong for wanting to get off workman's compensation and wanting to get back to work? Or should I just forget looking, have the surgery and continue accepting the benefits?