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Injury and CRPS / RSD - Printable Version

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Injury and CRPS / RSD - 7skittles7 - 01-23-2016

Hi all- it is my first time in this forum. 
I have been off work for over a year now, starting with my initial invasive surgery that I needed on my wrist and arm due to a job related repetitive stress injury. From the surgery, I developed CRPS and haven't been able to return to work at all. I have had various injections, meds, almost continuous therapy, and now a SCS implant. 
I actually never see an end to my pain and my mental state seems worse as I am not getting better. I am unable to perform my job duties at all being that it REQUIRES the full use of my hand and arm and I have moderate - severe pain, limited range of motion, sensitivity to touch, and the list goes on. It impacts my daily living and I am unable to do the things that I did before. 
I am not sure what really happens after this. WC has been paying me my wages as I have been off, but what is the limit? When do the doctors make a final decision and what happens after that? What if I am not able to function ever again in my previous career and that is what my degree is specialized in? I feel very nervous because I have children to care for and have no idea what the future holds. Any input would be much appreciated. Thanks in advance!


RE: Injury and CRPS / RSD - 1171 - 01-23-2016

Each state has their comp system and rule. We can,t provide you specific information without knowing your state.
What do you mean " final decision"? Sounds like you require ongoing treatment.


RE: Injury and CRPS / RSD - 7skittles7 - 01-24-2016

(01-23-2016, 11:58 PM)1171 Wrote: Each state has their comp system and rule. We can,t provide you specific information without knowing your state.
What do you mean " final decision"? Sounds like you require ongoing treatment.

Hi, thanks for your reply! I am in California. When I say final decision, I mean how does the doctor come to a final decision on disability if I have a disease that will consequently last the rest of my life? Who makes such a decision? Is it my treating physician or someone else? Sorry, I have never been through this before nor have I known another person who has so I am unfamiliar with the process.


RE: Injury and CRPS / RSD - 1171 - 01-24-2016

California limits your temporary disability period to 104 weeks.
There is no set time for the doctor to make a final decision on your disability. every patient progresses at their own rate. Whenever the doctor believes your condition stabilizes or you,ve Reached maximum recovery (they run out of treatment options) they will either perform a disability rating or notify the carrier that it,s time.
At that time the disability payments will drop substantially ($290/wk maximum).
--You should apply for social security disability as soon as possible--
Your rating will entitle you to a fixed number of weeks of this additional permanent disability.
It will not be enough to raise a family on. You,re expected to find new work within your restrictions.
Read the information on the state's web site
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/iwguides.html
Especially the permanent disability fact sheet.
There is also a retraining voucher available:
More here
http://www.dir.ca.gov/dwc/SJDB/SJDB_FAQ.html


RE: Injury and CRPS / RSD - California_Help - 01-24-2016

(01-24-2016, 01:08 AM)7skittles7 Wrote:
(01-23-2016, 11:58 PM)1171 Wrote: Each state has their comp system and rule. We can,t provide you specific information without knowing your state.
What do you mean " final decision"? Sounds like you require ongoing treatment.

Hi, thanks for your reply! I am in California. When I say final decision, I mean how does the doctor come to a final decision on disability if I have a disease that will consequently last the rest of my life? Who makes such a decision? Is it my treating physician or someone else? Sorry, I have never been through this before nor have I known another person who has so I am unfamiliar with the process.

I just wanted to add I would not be pushing for a rating or final determination right now if you are off work receiving TTD. Your TTD will stop if you are deemed P&S. You have up to 104 weeks of TTD payments.

I agree with 1171 to apply for SSDI and also apply for state disability even though you are receiving TTD. This locks in your date of entitlement, so when TTD ends then you can get state disability.

Your primary treating doctor and/or a QME (qualified medical evaluator) you pick from a list of 3 doctors from the state) can rate you...but again I would not push for this at this time because it can cause benefit TTD payments to stop. The doctor will write up a disability rating and then you will receive PD payments depending upon your year of injury this may be given at the end. This is usually not a lot of money so I would not rely on it supporting you if you cannot return to work. If this injury prevents you from doing any type of work then you should apply for SSDI ASAP because it can take a few years to get approved sometimes.

With the extent of your injuries I would consider hiring an attorney, but only if you are having issues getting treatment and/or benefits.

RSD is a very specific type of injury and I recommend going to a pain management specialist who is well versed with this. Some patients do well with injection cocktails specifically for RSD that slow the progression and also help with pain. You can switch doctors within your MPN (medical provider network). I also recommend googleing RSD support groups and forums. There you can find others who can comment on treatments etc.

I recommend reading the links 1171 provided as they will give you a better idea of the process. You can also call and I&A officer where your case is located at as well.