A year after the Dec. 2, 2015 shooting in San Bernardino, California that left 14 people dead and 22 seriously injured, many of the victims are struggling to get the ongoing medical care they need to recover.
The biggest problem they face? California’s workers’ compensation system and the private insurance companies that run it.
“I was shot by terrorists, and it feels like the people I worked with are victimizing me all over again,” says Valerie Kallis-Weber, who was hospitalized for three months after the workplace shooting. Since then she has had to fight the county’s comp insurers for everything from physical and occupational therapy to medications and a home health aide. Her coworker, Amanda Gaspard, is still waiting for workers’ comp to approve the reconstructive surgery she needs to repair her shattered right leg. Other survivors are struggling after having medications for depression, anxiety and PTSD cut off cold turkey.
Illinois workers take note: This is what Gov. Bruce Rauner has in mind for injured workers in our state. After a first round of workers’ comp “reform” in 2011, we are already saddled with private Utilization Review consultants hired by workers’ comp insurers to dispute care, much like the ones in California. But things could get even worse if Rauner’s “turnaround agenda” goes through.
In the meantime, EE&A stands ready to help if the medical care your doctor orders is denied by workers’ comp. Give us a call at (312) 226-2650.