disability???? what does this mean???

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by BethM, Sep 26, 2002.

  1. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I saw the workers comp doc today, for the carpal tunnel and tendinitis in my wrists. He has labeled me 'stable and stationary', or something to that effect, because there has been little change in how my wrists/hands are doing in the past several months. This means I don't need to see him anymore, unless I feel I need to be re-evaluated. I am not a surgical candidate, which is fortunate, because I hope to avoid any more surgeries for the rest of my life. Been there, done that, don't care to do it again. He said the legal folks will contact me, label me a percentage disabled, and probably offer me money to close the case. ok, questions----
    1. What does it mean to be a percentage disabled? I NEVER thought I'd have that label, and it disturbs me. Is there any benefit, any upside to this label? Tax breaks maybe? I still intend to continue working full time as I have been all along. My new office is much more ergonomically aggreable than the old one.

    2. How do I decide whether to accept their offer and go with my own insurance, or to keep the case open?

    3. Just how bad a problem is it to be labeled 'disabled'??? This is really bothering me. If I change jobs in the future, can it affect my employability?

    I had other questions too, but this has been a brain fog day, on and off, and it's on now. I think the smoke from the fire is getting to me.

    Thank you for any help anyone on the board can offer. This is new territory for me.

    I'll be offline Saturday, but will check in Sunday night.

    Peace,
    Beth.
  2. BethM

    BethM New Member

    I saw the workers comp doc today, for the carpal tunnel and tendinitis in my wrists. He has labeled me 'stable and stationary', or something to that effect, because there has been little change in how my wrists/hands are doing in the past several months. This means I don't need to see him anymore, unless I feel I need to be re-evaluated. I am not a surgical candidate, which is fortunate, because I hope to avoid any more surgeries for the rest of my life. Been there, done that, don't care to do it again. He said the legal folks will contact me, label me a percentage disabled, and probably offer me money to close the case. ok, questions----
    1. What does it mean to be a percentage disabled? I NEVER thought I'd have that label, and it disturbs me. Is there any benefit, any upside to this label? Tax breaks maybe? I still intend to continue working full time as I have been all along. My new office is much more ergonomically aggreable than the old one.

    2. How do I decide whether to accept their offer and go with my own insurance, or to keep the case open?

    3. Just how bad a problem is it to be labeled 'disabled'??? This is really bothering me. If I change jobs in the future, can it affect my employability?

    I had other questions too, but this has been a brain fog day, on and off, and it's on now. I think the smoke from the fire is getting to me.

    Thank you for any help anyone on the board can offer. This is new territory for me.

    I'll be offline Saturday, but will check in Sunday night.

    Peace,
    Beth.
  3. JaciBart

    JaciBart Member

    look under attys in phone book, get one specialzing in L&I and soc sec.

    Please do not make any decisions until you have the best advice.

    Good luck,

    Jaci
  4. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

  5. dhcpolwnk

    dhcpolwnk New Member

    First, I agree that it would be wise for you to consult an attorney about your situation. I'm not very familiar with worker's compensation disability law, but I do a lot of work in the area of disability rights.

    I think it's disgraceful that 12 years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, you would even have to consider asking how bad a problem it is to be labeled 'disabled'! Unfortunately, your question is very much on point. Although it *shouldn't* be a problem to be identified as partly--or completely--disabled as long as you can perform the essential functions of the job, the label certainly can be a problem. Stereotypes and false assumptions remain common, and recent decisions by the U.S. Supreme Court have twisted the meaning of the ADA beyond all recognition, severely limiting who is covered by the ADA and giving employers greater freedom to discriminate. However, some states (California, for example) have passed state laws that provide protection for employees (or prospective employees) with disabilities who feel they are being discriminated against. In these states, it is important to file complaints or legal actions under the *state* laws. In other states, though, the federal ADA remains stronger than state protection, despite the Supreme Court's continuing effort to weaken it.

    I wish you well.

    --Laura
  6. BethM

    BethM New Member

    Thank you all for your input. I believe that through my union (CTA/NEA) I have access to legal advice. Next week I will look into that. Never thought I'd have to do this, darn it. The thing is, I really am very functional, my wrists and hands are mostly ok as long as I avoid activities that stress them, and rest them as needed. I really do intend to be at my current job until I retire in 12 or 15 years or so, but you never know.

    I'm still studying the Trigger Point workbook, and hope for success with self-treating the Carpal tunnel problem,(among others) especially since the doc has given up on me. I haven't given up!! If I can heal myself, and the 'powers that be' offer me settlement money, wouldn't that be a kick? Maybe some good will come of this yet.

    Again, I appreciate the support here. I feel like I can ask ANYTHING related to this DD and all that goes with it, and someone will have a rational answer, or at least sympathy, for me. This is a very valuable place to be.

    Peace,
    Beth.
  7. sickandtired

    sickandtired New Member

    what my attorney told me is that the % of disability is the damage done caused by work. if you settle this with the company, they will either pay you a lump sum of money on what they feel your damage is worth, which will absolve them of any more medical bills or claims against them in the future. If you don't except the settlement, it will go to trial and an attorney will tell you if you could get anything more signaficant out of a trial (more money, more medical treatment etc.) This could take years and alot of medical documentation plus the attorney fee wich in my case was 20% of my win. DON'T SIGN A SETTLEMENT OFFERED BY THEIR INSURANCE COMPANY UNTIL YOU ARE REPRESENTED! They will call you and ask. Also talk to your doctor about the percentage. An 11% disability is signafantly lower than a 14% disability when it comes down to paying for the damages.[This Message was Edited on 09/27/2002]
  8. herblady

    herblady New Member

    i don't know what my percent is. 100% i guess. i get money every month and medicare. cindi