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Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - Printable Version

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Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - islandrock - 02-03-2012

I was injured in June 2011 in CA and had to move to Washington State for my husband's job in Nov. 2011. I was originally told that I could transfer to Seattle, WA office once I got better. I am now released by the doctor for light duty (meaning 1-2 hours/week). My employer has just informed me that a position has not opened up in Seattle yet, but that they need me in CA until one opens up. I have been receiving WC benefits with loss wages benefits with no problem since injury.
Here is my question:
-do I fly to CA and appease the doctor/employer until a local position becomes available?
-I honestly don't think I'm even ready to return to work since 6 wks ago the doc thought I needed surgery and I still have 0 strength, should I get a 2nd opinion?
-do I need a lawyer to help me navigate this case?
-what if I decide to quit my job? Will it hurt my chances of a future settlement?

Any help would be appreciated! Thanks


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - 1171 - 02-03-2012

you can request a second medical opinion at any time especially if you have questions about your treatment plan.

lawyers really don't help navigate a case. they really can't be bothered training and informing clients on how the system works.
read more posts on this and other boards from those with attys.
attys can litigate disputes and negotiate settlements but I'm not sure you have either yet.
quitting your job will probably stop your wage loss payments but otherwise it won't affect your medical or permanent impairment benefits.


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - jayne - 02-03-2012

light duty doesnt mean 1-2 hrs a week... well not most jobs anyhow light duty means different things.when I had light duty I went to work 20 hrs a week and sat and looked at the 4 walls....different people on here will tell you what their light duty was....my husbands light duty was 40 hrs of office work( he was a truck driver) did they tell you yours was 1-2 hrs a week?


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - islandrock - 02-03-2012

My job is a massage therapist with 17 hrs/week being considered full-time. Since there is no "light duty" within my job, 1-2 hrs/week is the agreed upon goal to get me started back to work.

(02-03-2012, 10:03 AM)jayne Wrote: light duty doesnt mean 1-2 hrs a week... well not most jobs anyhow light duty means different things.when I had light duty I went to work 20 hrs a week and sat and looked at the 4 walls....different people on here will tell you what their light duty was....my husbands light duty was 40 hrs of office work( he was a truck driver) did they tell you yours was 1-2 hrs a week?




RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - jayne - 02-03-2012

they can also bring you in to man the phones,or just look pretty if they want....


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - LeglEgl - 02-04-2012

You're between a rock and a hard place. Even though you've been released to "light duty", meaning, in this case 1-2 hours per week, the employer cannot provide that to you, because you've legitimately relocated to WA. That being said, you also cannot be required to return to CA in order to comply with the 1-2 hours per week of "light duty".

The downside of this is that the WC carrier COULD deny TTD because you have not made yourself available for the "light duty". I'm only speaking in general terms, since CA has some "interesting" WC laws, and somebody else with expertise in that state might have more clarity for you on that.

Seriously, though, flying to CA to work 1-2 hours per week seems a bit insane (no offense intended).


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - Woodlawn - 02-05-2012

(02-04-2012, 01:44 PM)LeglEgl Wrote: You're between a rock and a hard place. Even though you've been released to "light duty", meaning, in this case 1-2 hours per week, the employer cannot provide that to you, because you've legitimately relocated to WA. That being said, you also cannot be required to return to CA in order to comply with the 1-2 hours per week of "light duty".

The downside of this is that the WC carrier COULD deny TTD because you have not made yourself available for the "light duty". I'm only speaking in general terms, since CA has some "interesting" WC laws, and somebody else with expertise in that state might have more clarity for you on that.

Seriously, though, flying to CA to work 1-2 hours per week seems a bit insane (no offense intended).

Yep, totally insane. Although, if OP were to have a reasonable medical appointment during the visit (perhaps a second opinion or something) the medical mileage reimbursement is nearly $900 (assuming Seattle to San Francisco.)

Otherwise, the IC probably can and will cut off TTD. The only way that issue would be likely to resolve would be a protracted litigation period.

As for a lawyer helping your navigate, that isn't what they do. They litigate and get your claim settled so they get their 15%. An I&A officer could do more to help you navigate.

Quitting will likely get you cut off from TTD, but will having nothing to do with settlement.


RE: Dr. released me to light duty, but I don't think I'm ready - islandrock - 02-05-2012

(02-05-2012, 11:44 AM)Woodlawn Wrote:
(02-04-2012, 01:44 PM)LeglEgl Wrote: You're between a rock and a hard place. Even though you've been released to "light duty", meaning, in this case 1-2 hours per week, the employer cannot provide that to you, because you've legitimately relocated to WA. That being said, you also cannot be required to return to CA in order to comply with the 1-2 hours per week of "light duty".

The downside of this is that the WC carrier COULD deny TTD because you have not made yourself available for the "light duty". I'm only speaking in general terms, since CA has some "interesting" WC laws, and somebody else with expertise in that state might have more clarity for you on that.

Seriously, though, flying to CA to work 1-2 hours per week seems a bit insane (no offense intended).

Yep, totally insane. Although, if OP were to have a reasonable medical appointment during the visit (perhaps a second opinion or something) the medical mileage reimbursement is nearly $900 (assuming Seattle to San Francisco.)

Otherwise, the IC probably can and will cut off TTD. The only way that issue would be likely to resolve would be a protracted litigation period.

As for a lawyer helping your navigate, that isn't what they do. They litigate and get your claim settled so they get their 15%. An I&A officer could do more to help you navigate.

Quitting will likely get you cut off from TTD, but will having nothing to do with settlement.

Thanks for all the replies. I agree it seems insane and I can't imagine traveling on a regular basis. I am stuck between a rock and a hard place because it would be ideal to work closer to home. I guess I'm just hoping that something will open up sooner than later. It would be nice to write off the travel for medical appts, but I've already changed addresses and doctors to WA and to be honest I feel okay using my TTD pay for the travel cost (a few times at least) if it means keeping my job.
There is a part of me that just wants this whole thing over and done with. I'm tired of having to "jump through hoops" and if a local position doesn't open up in the near future, I may just have to quit anyway. So does it make a difference to play this thing out and take a chance? Or save my insanity and find another career?
I appreciate you reading this. Obviously, I am confused...
Thanks for the info on lawyer vs. I&A officer. Hmm...I wonder if a lawyer would be worth it in my case?