PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

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Latest post 07-20-2010 12:46 PM by Drew. 14 replies.
  • 07-09-2010 1:30 AM

    • agabby
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    PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    A few years ago I was diagnosed with PTSD and received treatment for about 3 years.  After the treatment I returned to work and have been doing fine, until a recent incident at work triggered it again.  After not being able to control the extreme anxiety, panic attacks, mood swings and paranoia I returned for treatment to my original doctor.

    My physican has taken me off work for a couple of weeks to see how I adjust and if I may need meds again.  I was given a FMLA letter from my employer.  I'm a bit confused because I don't know if I should file a Workers Comp claim against my employer for their actions which I know caused my PTSD to flare up again.  I was doing quite well over the past 6 years managing the PTSD..

    I can't afford to lose my job of 6.5 years but there is a part of me that is like in protective mood and very guarded.. thinking I should quit.  But then I think, why should I quit. 

    Just need some constructive advice to help me make the best decision for me and my family right now.  Thank you.

     

     

  • 07-09-2010 6:46 AM In reply to

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    One has nothing to do with the other.  FMLA only provides protection for your job, up to 12 weeks of unpaid leave per year.  WC is what you file when you have had a workplace injury.  Given that you were diagnosed with PTSD prior to this incident you can expect WC to deny it as a work related issue.  Stress related and/or psychiatry claims are almost NEVER approved by WC.  You can also expect your life to become an open book going way farther back than the time you have worked for this employer while they investigate the claim.  

    You should file for FMLA so that you have job protection until you come back from work.  As to WC:  only you can decide if the process will be worth it.  

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 07-09-2010 7:58 AM In reply to

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    That should read:  You should file for FMLA so that you have job protection until you come back TO work. 

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 07-10-2010 9:37 AM In reply to

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Psy claims for WC are especially hard to prove in CA because of some legislative changes in the CA workers' comp law that were made five or six years ago. You might try the CA WC board for some further insight as there is a regular poster there who seems pretty knowledgeable about CA workers' comp. You don't have to spill all your guts, but a brief summary of the actual circumstances of your potential WC claim might give you some insight into what you would be up against if you decided to file.

    Also workers' comp and FMLA are not necessarily mutually exclusive.  You may retain some job protection for a bit longer with workers' comp than FMLA, but if you need to be off soon thereafter for an FMLA protected reason that is not WC related, you likely will find that your employer counted your time off under WC against you FMLA quota for the year.  You can't just stack them.

     

  • 07-19-2010 11:36 PM In reply to

    • agabby
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Well in this case I think my employer should be quite embarrased and would not want people to know what they did to cause the resurfacing of my PTSD.. I don't care about the scrutiny or how much they have to dig.. because there is nothing in my mind worse than what occured to me as to why I acquired PTSD in the first place.  I have nothing to hide.. they can dig, and dig and dig. But again, I doubt they would like this exposed.

  • 07-20-2010 7:02 AM In reply to

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    "Well in this case I think my employer should be quite embarrased and would not want people to know what they did to cause the resurfacing of my PTSD."

    Rarely does an employer care or is embarrassed by something one of their managers did.  What they DO care about is paying higher premiums for WC coverage due to claims they believe to be frivolous or fraudulent.  When it comes to psychiatric claims you can expect an employer to fight tooth and nail.  What you think won't even be considered.  It will boil down to MEDICAL proof and if WC goes for it.  Odds aren't good since as we have said:  most psychiatric claims are impossible to prove to the standards of WC and get coverage.

    "That's just my opinion, then again I might be wrong."  Dennis Miller

     

  • 07-20-2010 9:50 AM In reply to

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Well in this case I think my employer should be quite embarrased and would not want people to know what they did to cause the resurfacing of my PTSD.

    What people?  If you file a WC claim, the only "people" who are going to know the particulars of your claim is the employer's WC carrier and I assure you, they've seen and heard it all.

    If you believe your employer is responsible for aggravating your condition, then you certainly are free to file a WC claim with your employer.

  • 07-20-2010 10:50 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    You need to be very careful to secure protection of FMLA and like very soon.

     

    If somebody postures you as a "risk" or a trouble maker and you are off unable to perform work and NOT under a protective umbrella, in many a firm you would be promptly exited for cause--not available to work!  In a sense management can get rid of its dirty linen!

    Whether work caused a dormant problem to reactivate and whether that is covered by WC is way beyond me--but I'd NOT leave my tail exposed while sorting that one out.



  • 07-20-2010 11:28 AM In reply to

    • agabby
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Thanks for your response.. let me say that I am very protected in my position believe me if I were not they would have gotten rid of me a long time ago.  Without exposing to much info because I never know who is reading these posts I am not with a private company but a public agency. I am also covered under FMLA as well.

    Thanks

  • 07-20-2010 11:31 AM In reply to

    • agabby
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    People like the public, probably even the WC insurance company as well.  I think more than anything my employer did not know that I had PTSD or they may have treaded a bit more carefully.

     

  • 07-20-2010 11:36 AM In reply to

    • agabby
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Well it's definitely not something that my managers did.. I have a wonderful relationship with my managers but much higher.  I think I should probably stop talking about it because I'm in the middle of it.  I want the WC insurance company to dig and dig deep.  I want a WC judge and everyone else to hear about this. 

    Yes, I agree they don't care about being embarrassed but we will see to keep this from happening over and over again those who have been told are always surprised.  Those in the industry such as lawyers, WC insurance companies etc., might not be.

  • 07-20-2010 11:44 AM In reply to

    • Drew
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Forget about the broader issues of everyone else unless you are running for sainthood--focus on the facts close to you.

    If management has dirty linen and in your public role you are rather protected---go for it (WC) --but still tread carefully and watch your back.

    You'd be smarter to use counsel.

    There have been posts from service veterans now in police roles etc here with Catch 22 issues--and waht passes for WC in one envornmant doesn't in another--I think of CA as being a bit overly worker friendly-and public pays for near every work related issue --but your facts may differ.

    Top management may turn summersaults to cover own tails

    .



  • 07-20-2010 11:57 AM In reply to

    • agabby
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Drew,

    The catch is that I want to work. I can do my job just not at the workplace because of what transpired which aggravates the PTSD.. now maybe through careful behavioral therapy with my psychologist I can go back gradually.  My manager has agreed to let me work from home. I don't know if administrators will allow it although PTSD is covered through ADA.

    Maybe a person who has never had PTSD may not be affected by what transpired with me in the workplace and I didn't think it was bothering me until symptoms started escalating..

    I want my job and I don't want to be pushed out. I've been there a while fully vested in retirement system and have a short time to receive retirement medical.  I have a wonderful relationship with my collegues and managers and couldn't ask for anything better right now.  I want my job.

  • 07-20-2010 11:58 AM In reply to

    • agabby
      Consumer
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    • Joined on 07-09-2010
    • CA
    • Posts 7

    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    Drew,

    The catch is that I want to work. I can do my job just not at the workplace because of what transpired which aggravates the PTSD.. now maybe through careful behavioral therapy with my psychologist I can go back gradually.  My manager has agreed to let me work from home. I don't know if administrators will allow it although PTSD is covered through ADA.

    Maybe a person who has never had PTSD may not be affected by what transpired with me in the workplace and I didn't think it was bothering me until symptoms started escalating..

    I want my job and I don't want to be pushed out. I've been there a while fully vested in retirement system and have a short time to receive retirement medical.  I have a wonderful relationship with my collegues and managers and couldn't ask for anything better right now.  I want my job.  I'm scheduled to speak with WC today

  • 07-20-2010 12:46 PM In reply to

    • Drew
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    • Joined on 03-30-2000
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    Re: PTSD do I use FMLA or Workers Comp

    I'd be real careful to make sure my time adds up for the  retirement medical you mention.

    If somebody above your boss has an axe to grind they may find ways to nix working from home.

    Not clear if you are protected by some form of civil service  --but no matter what I'd think a bit of review with counsel having skills with your agency is a good investment--easier to avoid bear traps then to cure the effects of getting one spung on you!

     

    As a modest aside--costs of legal counsel to protect your job/income is very likley tax deductible expense.

     



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