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Old 12-19-2010, 04:37 PM   #21
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Hi billyboy,
welcome to the forum. I second the suggestions to consult with a lawyer, to investigate SSD and to check out what exactly your health, short term disabiliy and any other insurance covers. While you are at the HR office checking out about your health plan, FMLA, COBRA and so on, I'd also suggest you investigate what you may be eligible for through your pension plan. Since your comments have mentioned getting a benefit at age 55 or 62, I'm going to guess it is a defined benefit plan. If so, it may include a disability retirement option. This would allow you to draw benefits because you are no longer able to do your trade, even though you have not yet reached normal retirement age. If your employer's plan is like mine, the disability does not have to be due to an on-the-job injury. If you would have been able to continue your employee medical coverage assuming you retired at age 62 or 55, you may also be able to do so you are if drawing a disability benefit from the pension system.

A disability pension will probably be a smaller amount than you were planning on at age 62, but it, plus SSD, plus any settlement from your lawsuit, will at least give you something to live on while preparing for the next phase of your life.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:49 PM   #22
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I've heard other horror stories about workman's comp claims where the surgery wasn't done well - and then your regular insurance won't pay because it's a workman's comp claim... I'm NO EXPERT on this. But yes - get a very good attorney. S/he will probably do it for a % of what you get (lawyers on the board, feel free to step in here if I'm wrong).

One thing I'm thinking - keep your employee health insurance as long as you can. You should be able to go on FMLA for 12 weeks (it will probably use up your sick leave) and you'd be an employee during that time. Then COBRA should kick in for 18 months. Meanwhile you can file for SSDI... immediately.

The bummer in all of this is you're probably in pain and until you have the outrageously expensive surgery, nothing's going to change. See what the lawyer says. And good luck - let us know what happens.
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Old 12-19-2010, 04:54 PM   #23
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Many good suggestions given to which i have nothing to add except, WELCOME. I think you will find many friends and well-wishers here.
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Old 12-19-2010, 10:18 PM   #24
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kyounge,thinker, and whodares, some more excellent ideas, I looked at our pension plan and it does have wording in it for a disability pension. I had no clue that was in there but I will be asking HR about it in the morning along with info on the other items thank you very much for taking the time to reply,
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Old 12-19-2010, 11:06 PM   #25
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Quote:
Originally Posted by billyboy View Post
kyounge,thinker, and whodares, some more excellent ideas, I looked at our pension plan and it does have wording in it for a disability pension. I had no clue that was in there but I will be asking HR about it in the morning along with info on the other items thank you very much for taking the time to reply,
Glad to help. Once you have found out what financial resources (disability benefit, SSDI, etc) you will have at your disposal, I also suggest going to bogleheads.org and asking how to make the most of them. There was a thread earlier this year from someone in a similar situation, which might contain information that will also be useful to you.
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Old 12-20-2010, 11:47 AM   #26
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Others have made great suggestions to help with your original question. I was just thinking reading your OP... you seem to have been working for a year since the original operation (as still have sick leave). While still working I would explore any possible job shifts (supervisor, sideways moves) with your current employer - they may be more likely to be accommodating than a new unknown employer. You seem to be the type of person that is proud, hard-working and unwilling to accept charity, but I think "you deserve" a bit of accommodation from your current employer.
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Old 12-20-2010, 05:31 PM   #27
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svhoper, You are correct, I worked for a few months before I started noticing something was not right. I went back to the original Dr. and was told not to worry as shoulders are "slow to heal". So I worked a few more months and very gradually things got worse until I decided I needed to have it looked at again. Anyway the new Dr. didn't see any problems on the MRI but thought he should look with a scope to be safe(last week) and then found the problem. My employer has been great in dealing with this whole thing. They just can't do more for me than they would for anyone else and rightfully so. I am sure if something opened up in the company that I was even somewhat qualified for I would have a pretty good shot at it.
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