Learning a New Lesson

Through my work with injured workers, I was introduced to Neuroworx, a nonprofit, community-based, outpatient physical therapy clinic focusing on neurological rehabilitation for individuals experiencing paralysis from spinal cord injuries, brain injuries, stroke, and other neurological conditions.

I have found the disability community to be so naturally friendly because they like to have a positive influence on society. Many spend their lives in isolation, being ignored and not acknowledged at all; therefore having contact with other people in society is considered a blessing. This is why I was happy to tour and learn about Neuroworx. After the tour, we played a game of wheelchair basketball, which is usually played by people with varying physical disabilities that disqualify them from playing an able-bodied sport. It was a blast!

                       

My life and outlook were changed after this experience. I realized I...

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Did you Know? The Return to Work Supplement Fund check for $5,000 does not have to be applied to school expenses.

The Return to Work Supplement Fund check for $5,000 does not have to be applied to school expenses.

The $5,000 check from the Return-To-Work Fund is a wage loss benefit, and injured workers are entitled to it because they have a job loss. Sometimes people are confused because the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit starts the timeline. However, it is not a school-related benefit, so injured workers can use it to get back on their feet when they're behind on their bills, they can fix their car, put the money toward bills or rent, or even a down payment on a house. They can use that money for whatever they need. It is not for training.

We have found that many injured workers think or were misinformed by their legal representatives that the $5,000 is for training and therefore they don't want to apply because they don't want to go to school and the insurance companies end up saving millions of dollars because of this miscommunication.

In addition, many injured workers believe they...

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Did you know? Insurance carriers are responsible for obtaining the signed return-to-work from physicians.

The physician’s return-to-work form is a requirement and it triggers the Supplemental Job Displacement Benefit to be issued by the insurance carrier. The law says the voucher is due to the injured worker 60 days from receipt of the signed physician’s return-to-work form. However, many doctors are not complying, so the insurance companies are not issuing the voucher.
 
In a recent Decision by District Court of Appeals (*see below), it states that the insurance carriers are responsible for obtaining the signed return-to-work from the physicians or issue the voucher if no valid objection for eligibility. As it stands now, insurance companies are forcing injured workers and/or their representatives to get the form, therefore when doctors are not filling them out, the voucher benefits are delayed or simply never issued.
 
The solution here is for the insurance company to comply with the law and to obtain the form themselves or issue the voucher. Attorneys can send...

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Supporting Gender Equality

“The first thing you need to do about gender norms is forget them.” - Amy Poehler 

I recently attended an event and donated clothing and copies of my book to Gals Starting Over and Clothes the Deal, two organizations that provide support to low income, injured, ex-felons, and single moms who are returning to the workforce. I am proud to lend my continued support to these organizations as they align with my commitment to SDG #5, gender equality.

Why is gender equality important to economic development? Any development effort must consider the needs of all people, especially those who don’t typically have a voice in decision making, if it is to be sustainable and effective. That’s why gender equality is a critical ingredient in achieving sustainable development.

Mount Saint Mary’s University in Los Angeles is a hub for gender equality research. According to their report on the status of women and girls in California, we are among the most diverse in...

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