Sunday, September 28, 2008

SET Family Medical Clinics

A couple of posts ago I noted that low income people can seek out Peak Vista for medical assistance. But there is also another low income resource for medical assistance in this region that also deserves mention. One of my clients recently mentioned this to me and so here is a link to their website. If you are low income but can afford it they do charge a small fee but if not they still welcome you. The reason I mention this is that many people who are disabled or hurt do not realize there are medical resources out there willing to help. Some people have worked very hard all their lives and when trouble comes they lack knowledge of these resources. If you've been working hard and supporting yourself but find yourself knocked down its good to know that this exists. Legally it is important when you have a disability or need treatment for something that it may be available. Our society has caused medical insurance rates to be unaffordable for many hard working people. That needs change but in the meantime use what's there. A Judge can wonder how hurt or disabled you are if you avoid treatment. We can say its because you cannot afford it but it can make them question your disability.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Mileage Reimbursement

A claimant with medical benefits is also entitled to submit for mileage reimbursement. Trips to the doctor, the therapist and anything related to medical treatment/evaluations also can mean mileage going and coming. When you track it then it usually can be submitted for reimbursement. It is best to submit on a monthly or semi-monthly basis and not let it accumulate. Wait too long and reimbursement can be questioned though it can also be disputed at any time. Usually the insurer reviews the mileage and reimburses using a set rate. That rate can be seen here in this link.
Be realistic in your miles (some insurers use to calculate your miles) because excessive miles can make the insurer question even more about your case. Also mileage checks can take some time to compute and issue so do not think you will be quickly paid. Give it a month to six weeks.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Peak Vista Registration

Back in December 2007 I mentioned Peak Vista. This facility provides medical care to the less fortunate. It is an excellent resource when you have no funds and need medical help. I am posting here a link to the Peak Vista registration page where you can check out eligibility. This place really helps people so use it if at all possible and you cannot afford a private doctor and have no other benefits. If your workers comp has been denied or you want Social Security disability but have no money then check into this. My only criticism of Peak Vista (one shared by other attorneys) is they usually do not fill out any paperwork to assist with your claim for benefits. I realize it is time consuming and their time is valuable but if someone can get workers comp or Social Security then medical benefits are usually provided to them. To me this would allow the patient to obtain other medical care (freeing up Peak Vista people to help others) or perhaps Peak Vista could then bill and receive medicare payments. Of course I also understand that they do the best they can with what they have. In that regard, by reputation, they are quite helpful for most people. Whenever possible if you hurt and are broke give them a try. Who knows they may just save your life.

Monday, September 08, 2008

We Are Rated in Top 25 Workers Comp Blogs!

Received a nice email today from LexisNexis a major publisher. They have included our blog in the Top 25 in the country! It is a nice honor and much appreciated. Of course in turn I can say its contents are primarily the result of the problems and disabilities of those injured workers who deserve fair treatment. It always amazes me when I work in this field to deal with those who seem to reduce the injured worker to a price tag. No question there are financial elements of a claim but many of the injured must now live with pain and limitation. Further many must deal with other problems such as loss of career, depression and changing their lifestyle. They deserve to have their story told and told and told. I'll help tell it as long as I can for many years to come. Here is the link to view the Top 25 Blogs .

Friday, September 05, 2008

Sept 4th, 2008 brings two cases against claimants

The Colorado Court of Appeals decided two cases on September 4th against claimants. Both cases have complicated legal arguments but the claimant lost out. In the first case, Feeley, the claimant sought to reopen and have his claim reviewed again after he lost his original appeal. He felt that there was a more recent Colorado Supreme Court decision which should have been abided by in his earlier case but the court decided his earlier case could not be reopened under the doctrine of claim preclusion. In other words his prior appeal was the end of the line despite a later Supreme Court decision that compels Respondents not to close a case without taking the right steps. It really meant that his claim was too late to take advantage of the more recent decision yet its clear the older law was a mistaken intrepretation. The second case, Heinicke, decided that a claimant who returns to an authorized doctor who states his impairment is higher cannot shift the burden to the other side to prove otherwise. The claimant sought to reopen but the decision indicates the claimant still has a high burden to prove his case should be reopened due to worsening. This case is strange because we all know that a higher rating means more damage and logically it must mean a worsening. The court seemed to emphasize the claimant still had to prove it relates to his work injury except you have to say that when an authorized doctor rates higher he must also (implicitly if not explicitly) be saying it's all work related. The case makes it clear that reopening is not easy and the burden is high. I side with the claimant in both cases but that is no surprise as I only represent claimants. I think legal mistakes made should be corrected and not perpetuated. Feeley says too bad. I think evidence from an authorized physician should shift the burden to the other side. Heinicke says no way yet it costs $450 an hour to have a doctor testify. Most injured workers are financially hurting so this seems to perhaps deny relief to those least able to afford it.

Monday, September 01, 2008

Politics and Social Security Disability?

Here is a link to one writer who reports on Social Security news. It appears that some claims are being processed faster by the Social Security Administration if they hit the newspapers or have much media attention. He believes this may be political in nature. In the past he relates this was not the case. He suspects such cases are being expedited to avoid further bad publicity during an election year. If true it is another reminder to all of us to look beyond the lip service and the posturing and get to the truth. In my mind there is absolutely no doubt that claimants have languished under an agency that has been underfunded and undermanned by the current administration. No human being should have to wait more then 6 months for a hearing but they do often wait over a year. In any event click here for the article.