Legal/Disability/WC/Financial Issues in CRPS/RSD, Chronic Pain, etc.

When the priorities of large constituencies (e.g., pain patients, pain practitioners, state medical boards, the DEA, the media) come into conflict, the legal profession inevitably becomes involved. In fact, the variety of legal issues involved in treating chronically ill patients, particularly with C-II medications, has spawned a new legal specialty - the legal aspects of pain treatment in the US.

Many folks with CRPS/RSD have found the Workers Compensation program, or attempting to collect Disability Benefits, to be very frustrating, due in part to the diagnostic criteria for CRPS can allow case managers to disallow such claims, if the patient doesn't show every one of the symptoms/signs on a list. Many links have recently been added which point to solutions to just these kinds of problems, featuring a wide variety of helpful sources to those trying to navigate the WC requirements or to qualify for Disability Payments.

Both of these issues affect what becomes a real issue for many RSD patients - finances. The RSDSA has just published a very high quality, extremely useful guide called "In Pain and Agonizing Over the Bills" (subtitled: "Financial Assistance Resource Directory"). This free, 64-page guide divides financial challenges into several groups such as "FEDERAL GOVERNMENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS", "LEGAL AID", "PATIENT ASSISTANCE PROGRAMS", and many others.


ADA.gov [Americans with Disabilities Act] "Publications and videos that answer these questions and more:  What is the ADA? Who is a person with a disability? Who must comply with the ADA?  Where can you call to ask questions about the ADA? "

starAmerican Association of People with Disabilities "the country's largest cross-disability membership organization, organizes the disability community to be a powerful voice for change – politically, economically, and socially."

The American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics "ASLME is a nonprofit educational organization. Our mission is to provide high-quality
scholarship, debate, and critical thought for professionals at the intersection of law, medicine, and ethics.

Chronic Pain Management in Workers' Comp from the Workers' Comp Insider, a popular weblog about these issues.

Chronic Pain Relief with Swimming Exercises swimming is a zero-impact way to stay in shape despite a variety of disabilities.

Chronic Pain Treatment in Workers' Compensation Cases from the web site of an Atlanta attorney specializing in these cases.

Complete Guide to Disability Claims, Insurance and Benefits the title says it all! "Your one-stop source for disability benefit information."

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS) Blog written by "Personal Injury Lawyer & Attorney Stuart Kritzer for CRPS, Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy (RSD) & Causalgia Claims"

Complex Regional Pain Syndrome in Georgia Workers Compensation Claims a very informative site put together by a group of GA lawyers; includes much useful information about WC and other compensation cases.

CRPS AND LAWSUITS AGAINST OTHER PHYSICIANS By Nelson Tyrone a very informative site, linked via our friends at American RSDHope.

Defective Drug & Medical Device Side Effects News "The mission of DrugNews is to improve patient safety through education. By providing the latest safety alerts, FDA recalls, studies and legal news, patients can discuss treatment options with their doctor, learn of current litigation over side effects, and decide if they need legal advice."

Disability Accommodation Cost Guide a mechanism for determining what disability accomodations might cost for a given home.

Disability Awareness Social Enterprise "jjslist.com is a communications and marketing social enterprise that helps businesses incorporate disability-aware marketing, customer service and employment best practices into core business strategies. And, we provide meaningful career paths in communications, technology and digital marketing to people with disabilities at the same time."

Find Workers Compensation Lawyers by Location "Find Workers Compensation Lawyers and Law Firms by State or Province"

FINDING AN RSD LAWYER - BY KEITH T. BELT Jr. from the great American RSDHope site, an excedllent article by an experienced CRPS attorney.

Health Benefits of Swimming for All "Swimming is an excellent low-impact sport that people of all ages can enjoy. Regular swimming can help to improve cardiovascular health, build muscle, aide in weight loss, and increase lung capacity among other benefits." Features a list of disabilities with leading links to specific information about swimming with specific disabilities.

(APHSA) Health Services Division "The Health Services Division is a subunit of the APHSA, which is a bipartisan, professional, nonprofit organization of representatives of state Health and Human Service agencies (including the District of Columbia and the territories)."

Home Modifications to Promote Independent Living a nice set of guidelines to make your home disability-friendly.

Home Safety for People with Disabilities a very good guide for makng a home safe for people with disabilities.

starstarIllinois RSD Lawyer Referrals and Legal Guidance "We are Illinois attorneys, but we don’t represent anyone who contacts us. Our goal is to find the right attorney for our clients to address the legal issues they have in the state of Illinois or to provide them legal guidance and answer any questions they have. We do this by making sure that we fully understand your needs through a confidential, free consultation."

Increasing Physical Activity among Adults with Disabilities a number of techniques for becoming more active despite having various disabilities.

Injured Workers "designed to inform, educate and support the workplace injured. One of the leaders in workers' comp reform advocacy. You can find current news, articles and forums. Created for injured workers, by injured workers."

starstarstar In Pain and Agonizing Over the Bills "Financial Assistance Resource Directory" A truly excellent compilation of resources, compiled and published by RSDSA, for the many people whose medical bills are eating them alive. Every imaginable area of our lives seems to have many programs designed to assist ill citizens. As happens so frequently, it almost seems like there are resources that are underutilized due to simple lack of knowledge about them.

International Association of Industrial Accident Boards and Commissions "a not-for-profit trade association representing government agencies charged with the administration of workers' compensation systems throughout the United States, Canada, and other nations and territories."

starstarIntractable Pain Treatment Laws and Regulations "This first of two articles discusses current federal policy and new state laws regarding the use of opioids to treat people with intractable pain." A great database, with PDF files of all important laws for each state, organized by state.

starstarJob Accommodation Network "The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace."

Lawyers.com "When faced with a legal question, many people don't know where to start. Evaluating and choosing a lawyer for your needs and becoming educated about legal issues can be a daunting task. It's not easy to find the facts you need to make an informed decision, and the stakes - both personal and financial - are very high. Lawyers.com can help. This FREE service from LexisNexis Martindale-Hubbell is designed specifically for individuals and small businesses"

Legal Side of Pain, The "specializes in the education of health care providers and office staff, with an emphasis on the development and implementation of compliance programs related to the use of controlled substances to treat pain, and the office-based treatment of opioid addiction."

Making CRPS Simple for a Jury an excellent guide to CRPS, in laymans' terms, to make the issue easy for juries to understand well enough to come to rational decisions about the damage to one's life by CRPS.

Medical Malpractice a forum on the great ExpertLaw.com site; they have an extensive track record in various cases involving chronic pain

Medical Malpractice Center very good site from a law group specializing in medical malpractice cases.

The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) "Providing National and World Leadership to Prevent Workplace Illnesses and Injuries"

National Rehabilitation Association "We provide our members opportunities for advocacy and increased awareness of issues through professional development and access to current research topics. Together, we work towards a society where there are no barriers, environmental or attitudinal, to full employment and participation in life."

NAVIGATING MEDICARE AND MEDICAID "A 2005 Resource Guide for People with Disabilities, Their Families, and Their Advocates" A 62-pg book (PDF format) published by the Kaiser Foundation, which clearly explains just what Medicare and Medicaid are, their responsibilities, eligibility, and pretty much any other question you'd have about these huge agencies. There are also many URLs and phone numbers for specific help at the (hopefully) correct department.

New York RSD Lawyers a small group of attorneys in the NYC area who have decided to specialize, among other injuries, in helping CRPS/RSD patients get the compensation they deserve if their illness was caused by someone else (or an organization).

NOSSCR : National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives "Established in 1979, the National Organization of Social Security Claimants' Representatives is an association of over 4,000 attorneys and other advocates who represent Social Security and Supplemental Security Income claimants."

Occupational Safety & Health Association "With the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, Congress created the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to ensure safe and healthful working conditions for working men and women by setting and enforcing standards and by providing training, outreach, education and assistance."

starstarPain & Policy Studies Group "The U.S. program of the Pain & Policy Studies Group is primarily involved in the collection and evaluation of state policies (see glossary for definitions of terms such as statutes, regulations, and healthcare regulatory guidelines) that govern pain management, especially prescribing controlled substances to treat chronic moderate to severe pain."

Pain and the Law "This site focuses primarily on the legal issues involving pain management and palliative care. It was developed by Saint Louis University and the American Society of Law, Medicine & Ethics."

Personal Finance Guide for People with Disabilities a strategy for following a budget for disabled folks.

Resources - a short article from RSDSA, with several useful links

RSD Info Center sponsored and maintained by the Belt Law Firm, P.C., in Alabama. As such, this is a very informative and well-executed informational site, with the legal salesmanship quite understated. It's not the best site to learn about CRPS, to be sure, but it's nothing like some of the other legal sites we've seen before.

starRSD Lawyers "We provide the highest quality legal representation for all victims of negligence, including those who suffer the devastating and often permanent disability brought on by Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy Syndrome (RSD or RSDS) or Chronic Regional Pain Syndrome (CRPS)."

RSD & CRPS Lawyer & Lawsuit "involving medical malpractice, transportation accidents and nursing home abuse – as well as mass tort and toxic tort litigation – involving defective or dangerous pharmaceuticals, medical devices and toxic substances like Benzene and Asbestos."

starstarRSDSA Articles - written by RSDSA people; these articles are full of useful information.

Social Security Disability Attorney & Lawyer Page nice utility for finding an attorney who specializes in either SSDI or Workers Comp; their database is organized geographically, so you can see the type of attorney you need in your state. Just select SSDI or WC, enter your zip code, and you're done.

Social Security Disability: Medical Conditions, Impairments and Problems really good presentation of many of the specific conditions recognized by SS as being disabling. It's organized like a medical anatomy book, by organ system. Makes finding your secific illness very easy.

Social Security Disability (SSD), SSI, & RSD from disabilitysecrets.org, an excellent discussion of filing for SSD - things to do and not to do - with a tone that's both knowledgable and compassionate.

SSA Policy Interpretation Ruling a special ruling, championed by RSDSA, to help the SSA deal with claims from people with RSD/CRPS.

State Workers' Compensation Officials from the Division of Federal Employees' Compensation (DFEC), Dept. of Labor, features a linked map of the US; to find the compensation agency in your state, just click the state.

USA Injury Claims Center a large personal injury firm will connect you with a lawyer experienced in CRPS litigation, organized first by state, then by county and/or city. As usual for this type of lawsuit, you don't owe anything if no settlement is reached.

WorkCompCentral.com "Workers Compensation - Information, News, Training and More!" A well-organized, bare-bones style of web site, with a *lot* of information and links to specific offices, organization, etc. to get questions answered quickly.

starstar Workers Comp Resource Center from AMAXX, a very complete, resource-rich site by two WC lawyers who are trying to make the process easier for people with a WC claim. There's even a blog in which the authors participate.

starstarstar Workers Compensation "The National website providing workers compensation news and information for employees, employers, insurers, and medical providers. Use the research center, locate an insurance provider, get info on your state's program, and find professional help relating to workplace injuries and disabilities in the U.S. "

Workers Compensation Lawyers "Workers' compensation laws entitle employees to certain benefits when a personal injury is suffered in an accident arising out of and in the context of employment. Most employers are required to carry workers' compensation insurance and so, for all practical purposes, all workers are covered. Benefits may include temporary total disability benefits while you can't work, payment of your medical bills, permanent partial disability benefits, or total disability benefits."

Workers' Compensation Action Network "a statewide, broad-based grassroots coalition of employer and insurer trade groups, businesses, non-profit organizations and public entities working together to ensure the full and successful implementation of legislative reforms to restore predictability and stability to the workers' compensation system, reduce costs for employers and improve services to injured workers."

Workers' Compensation Administrators Directory "The N.C. Industrial Commission's list of United States and Canadian workers' compensation agencies is a separate document. It is updated daily, as we receive new information; and is probably the most complete and up-to-date listing of its type available anywhere." NOTE: This is the most up-to-date, detailed listing available on the Internet.

Worker's Compensation Agencies for All 50 States and D.C. from the U.S. Dept. of Labor, accurate listing of links for the work. comp. agencies nationwide, organized by state or territory.

Workers' Compensation Discussion Forums a subset of the large "discussion forums" site, dealing with issues involving chronic pain

Workers Compensation Insurance.com a HUGE, very diverse guide to WC laws in this country. Subsections include a large section for every state, WC Law Guide, Injured Worker Forums, Finding a WC Lawyer, individual stories, and much more.

Workers' Compensation Issues from the excellent National Pain Foundation site: "Joe Mroczek's story is not unlike many others who have developed chronic pain, but he hopes that by sharing his experience with the workers' compensation system in his state, others who have faced the same battles will join his efforts to write and call their state legislators to help change the system."

Workers Comp Rx "Our pharmacy service is a high quality, convenient and confidential means for Workers Comp patients to receive their prescription medication. The unique approach we use is geared to providing superior customer service for the injured worker, their attorney, and their physician. We are an organization that prides itself in our ability to be flexible and meet the individual needs of our clients."