Regarding STD~~~PLEASE help me!!!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Fibromyalgia Main Forum' started by kadywill, Jan 12, 2003.

  1. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I started a LOA from work on 11-10-02 for spinal stenosis as found per MRI for severe back pain. I have STD insurance from work, which I have paid for each pay period. My employer wants to know whether I'll be coming back to work. I tell her that I do not know what'll happen and that my physician says I am 100% disabled indefinitely. I have told her that I continue to experience severe pain and that my treatment is ongoing. She wants me to resign and says that she needs a decision. I am entitled to my STD and LTD, right? My employers pay for my LTD as an employee benefit. My employer says she doubts my FMLA can be extended unless I can say that I will be returning to work at some time in the future. How do I know what the future holds? My questions for you are:


    If I am fired, does my STD and LTD stop??? If so, what is the use in having it in the first place? If a person is out of work long enough, he or she will be fired. I *have* to have this income...this is not an option for me, but I cannot possibly return to work in the near future. I was told that our STD policy would cover us for up to 6 months and then our LTD would "kick in." If this is true, why the hassle from work. Can I pay for my insurance myself and continue the coverage if I can't keep my job? Can I continue my LTD policy if I lose my job, by paying the premiums myself?
    We would lose everything we have if I don't have this insurance and I haven't a clue as to whether my back will heal sufficiently for me to work again. PLEASE advise me if you know the answers to these questions. My doctor is the one who took me out of work and he will continue to claim that I am totally disabled.
    Please help.
    Thanks,
    Kady
    [This Message was Edited on 01/12/2003]
  2. Carlacat

    Carlacat New Member

    and you should go ahead and apply for it as soon as possible my advice would be. Mine lasted for 9 wks, now I'm going thru the process of LTD. I wouldnt quit because that would end your benefits. After I went thru my 9 wks std then I had to write a letter to the company saying because of my medical condition I couldnt return to work after my 9 wks was over. My company paid me 60% of my pay. I would maybe call a lawyer and get some free advice but my advice would be dont quit!!!! We are having it rough financially also so I know what you mean, and I'll probably have to fight for LTD also. Dont listen when they say that your std rolls over to ltd cause its not true..there is a paperwork and determining process you have to go thru. Hope this helped alittle
    Carlacat
  3. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    sorry, through all of that stuff I wrote, I left out the part saying that I *have* been receiving my STD payments. since I first applied in November~~I have received three small checks so far. I have been on leave since November 10th. I was not told anything about how long the FMLA was for and I expected to just use the STD until I was eligible for LTD as I knew my recovery would be *iffy*....now, I will *NOT* quit, but can they fire me if my extension of my FMLA is denied???? If so, will my rights to have disability insurance cease??? THIS is what I am afraid of....
    PLEASE respond if you know the answer!
    Thank you!
    Kady
  4. BonBons

    BonBons New Member

    I can't tell you the answer for you, but can you call the Labor Board in your state and talk to someone there? That would be no charge to you and I'll bet they can advise you of your rights. Failing that, I would see if an attorney would be willing to advise you for a small fee; maybe one or two visits would settle your mind. But first, try the Labor and Employment Relations Board. Good luck! BonBons
  5. teach6

    teach6 New Member

    Do not under any circumstance leave your job. I believe FMLA is for 12 weeks, it's federally mandated. I suggest you check with an attorney. It sounds like your employer is trying to avoid having to pay LTD, but I thought that was paid from an insurance plan, at least mine is, so it's no skin off their backs.

    I think paying for an attorney is probably the best advice I could give you, unless you belong to a union or an employee group that could advise you.

    Barbara
  6. basket21

    basket21 New Member

    Don't quit, you will lose your work benefits. When I went off work due to the fact I was in so rough shape, I couldn't take my coat off when I got to work, and I thought, why am I doing this. Just making myself worse. I had doctors notes for about one month then my boss came to the door for me to sign a letter saying I am being laid off and if I sign I would get an extra 2 weeks pay. Unbelievable!!!!! I found a lawyer and he contacted work and basically said what they tried to do was illegal. I fought all I had to including the long term disability plan from the insurance company at work.
    That was 7 years ago and all is fine. Every year or so I get a form to fill in regarding my long term disability benefits and fill it in and mail it back. It just confirms I am still unable to work at anything. I'm glad I hung in there, don't let anyone dump on you. Especially when you are ill. You deserve the long term disability coverage, the company pays the premiums but you are taxed on it as a taxable benefit.
    The other advise I have is put money away now as when your benefits come thru they are retroactive, but the time before they kick in is unknown and you have to live till then.
    I wish you well, if you have any questions, just ask.
    take care...........basket21
  7. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I am calling an attorney this a.m.!! The only question I now have for you guys is: Can my employer fire me? I am on STD and someone on here said they can't, but what if my FMLA runs out? My leave began 11-10-02, which is over 2 months now, and I'm afraid they'll fire me; can they? I was feeling really secure till they wanted me to write out a resignation; they caught me offguard and I was kinda loopy that day from my meds/pain/fog....whatever. My hubby said that he didn't want me to go there or to talk to any of them again and I won't! I think they're playing dirty and they know I am ignorant in these matters. I just thought, honestly, that I would use the STD I have been paying for, then LTD while my SSI was pending. That was the plan and now I'm terrified of having no money coming in...we could NOT survive that, I am sure.
    Thank you for all the help, once again!!!!!
    Love,
    Kady
  8. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    a local attorney and asked the receptionist if he could call me back to answer a couple of questions relating to my job and STD/LTD and told her that I had applied for SSDI on 12-16-02 as well and would need an attorney to help with that. I'm going to disconnect and wait for his call. Please PRAY!
    Love,
    Kady
  9. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    to another attorney who specializes in employment/insurance legal matters and I left a voicemail for this guy to call me, so I'm disconnecting again to await his call. Please pray for me.
    I love you guys!
    Kady
  10. basket21

    basket21 New Member

    You said they asked you to write out a resignation letter but you never said you did or not. I think you did. Hope you kept a copy of it. Give it to your lawyer so he knows what's going on. You must always tell your lawyer everything good or bad.
    If he knows what's coming he can deal with it. They don't like surprises. If they made you write a resignation letter that says you weren't going to resign on your own, doesn't it, so don't worry, or don't try to worry, have faith in the lawyer. He's there to help you and all you do it look after yourself.
    On the money part, that's something we went through and survived. It's not forever right?
    Hope all goes well..........basket21
  11. nancyneptune

    nancyneptune New Member

    They CANNOT fire you! It's discrimnation, then you'd have a big lawsuit for future earnings. That's why they wanted you to resign. Don't do it. Accept no calls from them. Just keep sending them your doctor's excuses if you have to do that. Don't be afraid, I went thru this whole thing too. I learned a lot about the law. Hugs, Nan
  12. 1maqt

    1maqt New Member

    They are trying to bluff you into quitting... Don't go for it.
    They want to get out of paying you the benifits you are intitled to.
    My husband ran a company for 36 yrs, and That is just a lot
    of rubbage. They had people sue them becaued of getting their problem diagnosed as job related. Tell your boss that I'll bet she becomes your best friend!!
  13. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    I am a nurse and was fired (they called it resigned) by my hospital because I was not able to work after my FMLA was used up. They have to hold your position for that long but after the FMLA they can do what they want. Ofcourse not every employer is as heartless as mine was. :) I was not on any STD or LTD - never qualified years ago due to bad knees, etc.
    [This Message was Edited on 01/13/2003]
  14. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    Here's what I did~~on Friday a.m., my friend had a wreck before daybreak and called me to come pick her up and take her to the hospital. She woke me up from a drug-induced sleep, but I automatically went. I did NOT take my a.m. meds since I was gonna drive, so I started to have extreme pain from the spinal stenosis, which is worsened by driving. I felt like she was depending on me, so I did this for her. (She and I work(ed) together)
    Anyway, I took her to the ER and then to our workplace to fill them in. My employer saw me and immediately told me that she *had* to have a decision. I hadn't a clue what she meant and I was woozy and in a lot of pain at that time; I *needed* medicine. The way she worded it, I hadn't a clue what she was talking about and she handed me a legal pad and told me to write that I was resigning due to health reasons. I did. By the time I saw my husband and he told me what I'd done, we went back there and asked for and received my little piece of paper I'd written before she was able to do anything at all with it. No paperwork, phone calls, nothing was done and my husband questioned her at length about what she was doing. She seemed intimidated and then very cold! Then she said, "Well, this *still* has to be addressed." I, then, told her that this is what I don't understand; what exactly needs to be addressed. She told me that she needed to know if and when I'd be back. I said that, as I have told her all along, I don't know what's going to happen with my back and that pain relief was my major goal at the moment and that I would love to be well enough to come back. This is how I left it. She has no resignation from me; it's on my refrigerator right now. I KNOW this was a stupid move on my part, but I am saying to you that I was in the worst *fog* I have ever experienced and I didn't know what in the world I was doing.
    As to the lawyers; I talked to four yesterday who, for various reasons, couldn't help me, but referred me to the fifth one and I am awaiting her call now, so I'll D/C and listen for the phone again.
    Love always,
    Kady
    [This Message was Edited on 01/14/2003]
  15. basket21

    basket21 New Member

    Hi Kady
    Just got up and came right here to see how you are making out.
    I am so glad you got that letter back. Now that's one thing you don't have to worry about. By the way, don't count on this so called manager to stick up for you now. She did something wrong by asking you about this decision and your hubby put her in her place. Good for him!
    You can call the Bar Association (I'm Canadian so you may call it something else) and ask for the names of a few lawyers who deal with sick leave claims. You can tell them about the FM as it may help to narrow it down. From my experience I have found one lawyer is not completely familiar with what another lawyer handles. This route may save some time for you.
    Some lawyers offer free the first half or one hour interview. Ask about this as well. Free is free right?
    Also start putting some money in the ole cookie jar for bills or lawyers expenses. The can be expensive but they get the results we could never get on our own. You need one, even if to deal with this "manager, I call her lightly" at work cuz you still have to deal with her sometime. Don't go near her on your own, ok.
    I'm praying and waiting......basket21
  16. Cindy

    Cindy New Member

    Kady~

    I am bumping this up, in hopes that you will keep us updated on what you find out. I want to answer your first post, but waiting to see what the lawyer has to say...
    Prayers going up for you in hopes that it will be resolved soon!


    With much love
    Cindy
  17. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    The lawyer #5 did not see fit to call yet, so I am keeping a close ear to the phone. I called her back and left *another* message! I'll be persistent!
    I am less manic about this today, but my FMLA is running out, so I *have* to get some advice. Patience is not my strong suit!
    Love and thanks!
    Kady
  18. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    I called an associate of my step-mother's who is a general lawyer and not a good one at that, but I thought he could, at the very least, advise me. WRONG! I have NEVER been treated in such a degrading and demeaning way. He said that as an employee-of-will, I could be fired at any time for any reason whenever my employer wanted to do so. He then made light of my Spinal Stenosis, (which is painful and disabling and criteria accepted by Social Security as a diagnosis for SSDI) and said that "everybody has it to some degree or another!" I could've wrung his neck at how critical he was being. He said that it was NOT an injury and my employer had a right to know whether to expect me back or whether to fill my position. I told him that my position was filled and that I had not left them in any kind of hardship, whatsoever. Nursing doesn't work that way~~my hall has been filled with no problems. He said I have no case and that if I am fired, I am fired, that's it! This is coming from a man with NO financial problems. He was my divorce attorney, for God's sake! Couldn't he, at least, have been a little compassionate toward an old friend he went to highschool with and grew up with?? I just didn't need this and I started crying and hung up. I know it may not sound like much to a lot of folks, but I HAVE to have some income~~yes, I filed for SSDI in December and you guys KNOW how long that'll take. I was depending on my STD and LTD to keep me afloat and able to eat and take my meds till that came through for me. Is that so much after I have worked there for years? What GOOD is this coverage I have paid dearly for if I can't stay employed long enough to get it???????
    I am so depressed and afraid. How can I possibly heal and take care of myself with this degree of stress?
    I can't do this much longer~I have almost reached my limit of tolerance.....
    Kady
  19. darlamk

    darlamk New Member

    I know that you have worked in a long term care facility. Is it part of a big company or a small privately owned operation? Do they have a personal dept? Is the person you have been talking with the nurse director or the administrator? It seems like they are really pushing you and I am wondering what their policies are for these types of situations. I know they have to give you the 12 week FMLA but then can you stay "on staff" but not as a scheduled employee for the duration of you LTD?(we called this UPT-unscheduled part time) Why the heck do they even have LTD benefit for employees if they want you to quit before you even get it?! I would ask to see all their policies and standards regarding this type of situation. Years ago I was a director of nursing at a long term facility & even then we had documented rules we had to follow. I know you are really feeling the pressure and it is humiliating to have to go through all this besides the pain and grief of not being able to work. Especially with the big nursing shortage you would think they wouldn't act so hastily. I'm sorry you have gotten the run around from the attorneys. Hopefully you can find a good one to assist you with the SSDI.Please take care of yourself & remember you are doing the *right thing* for you at this time. This stuff reminds me of what I went through 2 years ago. It is a grieving process for us to give up our careers and it takes time and emotional support from our family & friends to get through it. May God bless you & keep you safe,
    Darla
  20. kadywill

    kadywill New Member

    This information HAS helped me with a plan, at least. Thank you SO much for this!!!
    Love,
    Kady