I am employed by USPS as a mail carrier on Long Island NY.
Three years ago I had a bad fall on the job that severely and permanently injured my knee,completely changing the quality of my life forever.I was very athletic,walked up to 13 miles daily carrying postal bag weighing apprx 50 lb.s.
I played tennis,golf,bowled and o ther things.All the things I can no longer do.
Now i am lucky if i can get from my front door to my car without pain and discomfort.I have some pain at ALL times.if i have to go to store for a few minutes,even walk down one isle to get to pharmacy,I am in enough pain to cry.
i had surgery ,the Surgeon told me after trying every possible treatment that i will never recover from this injury or be able to do my job.This was all reported along with everything else in reference to this case.
i am receiving workmans comp,because of the reduction in my pay,I was forced to leave my large family,all living on Long island to move with a friend to TN,so together we could afford to live.She as well is disabled and fighting to get benefits she has been denied for years.
When i received the letter of denial for federal retirment disability, I looked over the reasons they gave.Firstly they only listed a few of my symptoms,secondly they said they had mailed a letter in Sept of 2009 asking for further documentation, when fact is they had more than enough to prove beyond a doubt my disability is not only real,permanent,disabling..but also the result of the injury i received while at work,to add.....i have severe arthritis in both knees and calcifications,which through my own investigations of many medical Resources,i found that such injuries are suffered by a disturbing number of postal workers in my position as a mail carrier.
This was also backed up by my Surgeon.By the way the supposed letter they mailed me,i never received, funny how nothing came registered either, up until the denial letter.obviously if i received a letter, asking for more information,even if the request was ridiculous, i would have responded,if not i would be a compplete idiot, taking a chance in losing my retirement.
i have a few questions.
1. is it possible for me to sue,either workmans comp or the postal service for permanently changing the quality of my life from one of a healthy.active individual to a disabled,often in severe pain, individual with a very low quality of life? i used to think going to store for bread was no big deal, now the very idea i have to go, i am faced with the knowledge this trip will cost me alot that day,since forcing myself to walk ,aggravates my injury, and lasts all day,and most often through the night.
2.being denied federal disability retirement, how does that affect the workmans comp funds i receive monthly which i depend on to live.
3. I have 30 days to disagree and file for reconsideration,what is the best way to handle this?I tried calling attorneys,all want approx 5-6 thousand dollars to take the case.of course i do not have any extra money,due to the debt i am now in because of this injury.
i also researched appeals,and statistics.According to the statistics, the appeal fails.What then?
i tried to look up all resources to get some answers,so far i havent gotten any to help me find a way to get the retirment disability I deserve,worked hard for and payed into for 20 years.
I pray soeone can shed some light on my dilemma,any information,link,contact,advise would be so very much appreciated.
Thank You for reading my story.