[Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Stephen H (---.114.93.179.connectohio.net)

Date: 07-21-02 00:38

Most of the guys assure me that the Ohio police and Fire pension will take care of me.Our intrnational union has done great work getting Heart disease recognized as a occupational hazard.The risk management woman at City hall said they will fight me tooth and nail for work-comp claims(she is nice and said Steve,we are sorry but it is nothing personal just S.O.P.and I understand that.)There is a new woman there who I heard hates Fireman and she's gonna hate me but I hired a work-comp lawyer to get some if not as much comp as I can...I cannot work side jobs the kids need braces.My Family WILL NOT SUFFER if I can do something about it...I'm not planning a jimmy buffet lifestyle in the keys.I live in a 50'by 150' lot with a three bedroom bungalow 970sq.ft made cozy by a loving resoursefull wife 2 children and our beloved 2 dogs.I'm blue collar and quite content but I'll be damned if we have to give up our simple pleasures.So my fire pension is one thing.They treat Fireman with bad hearts good.I hear that work comp is a different story regarding Heart disease.My cap and me pulled a one year old out of a terrible fire he spent(the child)3 weeks at Akron burn ward but survived.That was a gasping housefire(working undiagnosed.)I have been an Infantry soldier and a Fireman my whole adult life,I put my life and health on the line for country and community I DO FEEL ENTITLED to full pension and some if not all work-comp.I'm 45 have warts and moles, wasnt perfect and wouldnt have changed a thing but seek treatment at onset of symptoms instead of ignoreing them and attributing them to age,We always said this is a youngmans job when you pay your dues find a slow station...I loved the adrenaline ,action,so I worked the busy truck,my Captains #1 guy,I liked the rookies shyly asking about the medals and rescues,It made me feel good,I would correct a rookie at the captain bequest before he got a bad habit.Show him what to watch for to avoid falling through a floor,how to climb a burnt out stairway safely(you can,I can teach you)@!#$ Im crying again


[Re: Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Sarah B-Board Moderator (---.ipt.aol.com)

Date: 07-21-02 02:25

Dear S

1 point of clarification ---you don't have (according to the info you've posted) "heart disease" which is the common name for coronary artery disease. So the workman's comp info re: heart disease may not apply to you. However, you do say that they think the cardiomyopathy was due to a viral infection and this sounds to me like work comp may not cover that kind of thing. You may want a second opinion to see if maybe the overwork of your job was a factor in getting the cardiomyopathy.

And, by the way, how do you climb a burnt out stairway safely? Is this something that requires a mask and air tanks or can anybody do it?

No one can take what you've already earned away from you. You will always be a lifesaver and a hero to those who know you.



[Re: Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Stephen H (---.114.93.184.connectohio.net)

Date: 07-21-02 03:33

Sarah,I figured I'd run into the same problems because of the viral cause,When I was on the table getting my caths removed I asked the doc If smoking caused it he said no I believe it was viral,I then said could Firefighting have caused it ?he said "Maybe"Butr I do know That I was suffering symptoms for at least 2 years and had spent one night in 1998 or 1997 in the chest pain ward(a room with 1 nurse rto 4 patients on ekg's after a 2 alarm fire where I did a lot of work and had the breathlessness Tachacardia for 2 solid hours,but preformed a stress tesrt the next morning and they released me.My ekg didnt catch this thing it was the Echo that caught it.My ekg at the E.R. in May didnt show anything.It was Dr Mckee (My Hero) who said "I'm gonna get Cindy to take you immediatlly over to St.Elizabeths and get a echocardiagrm on you,the tech is still there and he'll do me the favor of staying late to do it now".That was on a Saturday,so I didnt have to wait and get one schedualed.We used to lift wights together so he was surprised by all this.Oh if you think the stairway might be a little weak straddle it with your boots butting up against the wall.And walk wide.Thats if you gotta get up before you can toss a ladder on the stairs and use that.


[Re: Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

Date: 07-21-02 10:01

OK we have several issues here Steve and I am posting them on the message board rather than a direct email to you because the information is general and may help others.

Workman’s Compensation varies from state to state - however in almost every case I am aware of the basics are the same:

1.DID THE JOB cause your injury/illness (in your case not likely at all)

2.DID THE JOB worsen your condition (in your case maybe)

So the question here is how to "fight" for workers comp, you may have a VERY hard time with it - IN the case of DCM, from a viral cause, as is your case, you may have a shot a #1 (but not your strongest case) in the case of HCM it is stricktly genetic so your out on #1.

RE #2 Again in HCM not much luck here (although it is possible I guess in some cases), but DCM as in yours you have a better position here, the activities that are required for your job are demanding on the heart and may cause you problems...therefore you may have a shot on this.

Having DCM or HCM does not mean that you are a disabled person and unable to work. However it may mean that you are unable to maintain the type of work you are currently doing and must change occupations.

Disability is based on functional capacity. NOT diagnosis.

RE your pension - you will have to review the plan document and see how it defines disability and vesting for someone who can no longer do the job. While I know many people look at the administrators of these plans and think they make the rules up as they go, this is not the case at all. These programs are governed by ERISA (a federal program)...if the plan administrator changes the rules just for 1 person they can risk loosing the entire plan for all participants.

I myself am a plan administrator for a pension and a health care plan (in my real life..as Sarah puts it) and in my role I am mandated to maintain the plan document at all times, failure to can result in fines and loss of the program.

So my point here is look at the facts, read the plan documents, know the workman’s comp laws in your state and have all the facts in order. With you facts and laws in order no one can remove any benefit that is rightfully yours.

Oh by the way all you need to do is request a copy of the plan document from the plan administrator and they MUST give it to you (although they can charge you a fee for coping it is worth it).

Hope this helps!



[Re: Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Sarah B-Board Moderator (---.ipt.aol.com)

Date: 07-21-02 12:41

Dear Stephen

Thanks for the stairway tip -- I doubt I'll have any handy ladders to toss around so I appreciate it.

I don't think it is an accident that Lisa is an HR director --really, what are the odds?

take care,



[Re: Pension,Work-comp and anger]

Author: Lisa Salberg (---.dyn.optonline.net)

Date: 07-21-02 18:38

Yes we in HR are ODD...oh thats not what you meant was it