EM is a former client of LIpkin & Apter, who has been working for many years as a mechanic at a large food processing company in northwest suburban Chicago.
Surgery Required after Slip & Fall
EM fell in a freezer, sustaining a low back injury which required surgery after physical therapy and a cortisone injection failed to reduce his pain. The surgery consisted of a lumbar laminectomy and a vertebral interbody fusion. The fusion entailed insertion of a bone graft into EM’s spinal column, and placement of rods on either side of his spine, connected with screws. The purpose of the surgery was to provide stability to his spine, and reduce his pain. Post operatively VM was involved in lengthy physical therapy (15 months) followed by work conditioning (a series of exercises patterned after a patient’s job). The surgery and follow up treatment proved successful, and VM returned to his regular work duties almost a year and a half after the initial fall.
Permanent Disability Settlement
Lipkin & Apter negotiated a 20% permanent disability settlement, amounting to $82,500. VM also received weekly benefits (2/3 of his average weekly wage) for the entire period he was off work and full payment of his medical bills.
Medical Set Aside
Because VM was receiving Social Security benefits, the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) had to be contacted with regard to a medical set aside (MSA).
A set aside is a statement from CMS as to the amount of money the workers compensation insurance carrier has to place into a separate fund for payment of potential future medical costs incurred as a result of a work related injury. Monies in a set aside must be used exclusively for medical treatment connected with a work related injury. The principle underlying a set aside is that the government does not want to pay for future medical costs that relate to a work injury. That cost must be borne instead by the workers compensation insurance carrier. CMS determined that VM was to receive a medical set aside of over $11,000. This money is separate and apart from the $82,500 settlement, and in VM’s case, will not affect the money he receives from Social Security.
Ask Lipkin & Apter About Your Work Injury
Lipkin & Apter have represented injured workers for more than 60 combined years, and would be happy to answer your questions about a work injury, free of charge. Call us today at (312) 624-9342.