Nearing the 2 year mark, in occupational rehab but it's not going smoothly

Hi, this is my second time posting here and I find it a wealth of information and support.

I’ve been approved for an occupational rehab program with an occupational therapist, and I’ve had a couple of sessions so far. I’ve tried following the instructions from the OT, and while helpful, they don’t seem to be getting me any closer to being ready to work any kind of reasonable employment. I’m still struggling with the same things I have been for years, in spite of many kinds of treatments and following medical advice.

The case manager says I’ve been approved for a few more sessions, but it’s unlikely that the rehab program is going to get me well enough to work. Of course, they already said that they’re not going to pay benefits beyond the change of definition date, which makes me wonder… If someone is willing to try almost all treatments and and they fail to bring about meaningful improvement, and they also make a sincere effort at rehab, and that doesn’t work either, doesn’t that mean that person really isn’t able to work in a reasonable position?

I mean, the criteria is a reasonable position based on my experience and education, that pays at least ⅔ of my original income. Right now, I could probably work part time in a lower stress environment that gives me some flexibility in start and end times. I’m sure there are jobs like that out there, but I’d end up making way less than the ⅔ in the policy.

So yeah… they admit rehab isn’t going to work, but yet still want to kick me off DI at the 2 year mark. WTF?

I’ll try calling a union rep tomorrow and see if they can help. After that, should I be getting a lawyer?

Get the free consult:

Appeal their decision to cut you off at the 2 yr mark. Ask them to provide medical documentation from a doctor that states you can return to work. My guess is they won’t be able to provide it.
Be careful with their treatment people. They work for the insurance company and I’ve had my share of issues. Make your complaints heard about it therapy not working for you and make your case. Get your doctor on board too. They hire some of the worst people who write false reports to serve the insurance company. Document everything.

So, I talked to my union rep, and they basically just said I have a decision to make, which is whether I want to go back to my old job (bad idea), ask for accommodation and see what can be offered, or leave the employer altogether.

So, it’s either resign and hopefully get a meagre medical pension (it would be very small supplement to any income I have later on), OR work with the employer to see what kind of accommodation could be made in order to work within my limitations.

This doesn’t sound right. I know I could probably do some kind of work, but not full time, and nothing too demanding and stressful. Routine, steady workflow would be best. Of course, in the policy, that could still fall under “totally disabled”, because I might not be making enough money to hit the 2/3 threshold.

I know lawyers will say to go to your union first, but what if my union doesn’t understand the policy very well?

Why would you not want to ask for accommodation and see if you can be accommodated? Your employer has a duty under law to do what it takes to accommodate your disability right up to the point of undue hardship. Exercise your rights!

I agree completely. I got in touch with management as well, and we’ll have a meeting to see what accommodations can be made. I absolutely can’t go back to my old position, but a change of position and or location is a possibility.

There’s only one problem though: I’m not actually better. Despite many kinds of treatments, I feel worse now than I did when I went on leave. So, this is my dilemma. I can try to return to work and possibly fail, or I can fight insurance to stay on longer than 2 years.

I tried to return four or five times and failed so you know what I would do. :slight_smile: If there is a chance I’d take it. If you aren’t able to succeed it also strengthend your case if you tried your best.

If you don’t mind me asking, what happened with the insurance after a failed return to work?

It continues and the insurer agreed to backdate my date of onset of disability to the first period that I had to go off work.

As a former occupational therapist before becoming a lawyer, I can say that it is likely the OT you are working with will 100% appreciate you giving a sincere effort. When you do so the professionals will sometimes say things in your favour. It is possible there return to work was focused only. on your former employment, but they are trying to say you should be able to do “other employment”.

Either way, reach out to our firm or another firm that also focuses on long-term disability cases. They may stop your benefits temporarily but a good disability law firm will know what it will take for them to reverse that decision.

Good luck and keep giving a full effort. It will pay off in the end.


David Brannen

Disability Lawyer with Resolute Legal

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Thank you! I’ll continue trying my best, making an effort to follow the recommendations. I’ll hope for the best, but I agree a legal consult might be a good idea soon