Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Onset Date

The last date that a person works is not always the onset date for disability purposes. Understanding the difference can result in additional benefits being paid.

I represent a 53 year old former communications field technician who was injured on December 8, 2008, resulting in leg pain. On March 9, 2009, the claimant started experiencing severe back pain, and he learned that his leg pain was due to a spinal cord injury, for which he had surgery the following day on March 10, 2009.

The employer provides 13 weeks of sick pay, which is reduced to 50% thereafter. Because of his good work record, to enable him to receive an additional 13 weeks of full sick pay, the employer allowed the claimant to return to work the first week of June 2009. From that date until September 28, 2009, the claimant did not work a full day, and was unable able to perform his work duties, which I contended showed that he lacked the ability to work.

I was notified today that March 9, 2009 was accepted as the claimant’s disability date instead of September 28, 2009, which is the last date that he worked. Consequently, the claimant received an additional six months of disability benefits.

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