In a recent case, the Oregon Workers’ Compensation Board ruled that an injured worker proved a new medical condition claim for complex regional pain syndrome.
The Workers’ Compensation statute allows an injured worker to make a new/omitted medical condition claim. In essence, this is a written request that a particular medical condition be included in the Notice of Acceptance in a workers’ compensation claim.
Complex Regional Pain Syndrome is a chronic systemic type disease characterized by severe pain, swelling, changes in skin color, and sometimes even changes in body temperature. Although there is much research going on with this very painful condition, research so far establishes that this condition is associated with the central nervous system, and the autonomic nervous system, which results in multiple functional losses, impairment, and disability. There are two types of Complex Regional Pain Syndrome. Type 1 does not demonstrate any kind of nerve lesions. Type II is distinguished by evidence of some nerve damage.
In this case, the employer argued that Claimant had only established one type of complex regional pain syndrome, and not the other. However, the Board disagreed, explaining that the claimant merely requested acceptance of “CRPS.” The Board did find that the employer could raise concerns about what type of complex regional pain syndrome would be treated when processing the claim.
This decision is important for two reasons. First, it illustrates that the Claimant is in the driver’s seat when asserting a new medical condition claim. Secondly, it involves a condition that has traditionally been controversial in the medical community, which involves special challenges in workers’ compensation and Social Security Disability claims.
You may have an open and accepted claim, but the employer may not have taken responsibility for all of the medical problems resulting from your on-the-job injury. If you have questions about your claim, call us at 503-325-8600. We have a lot of experience helping people with new and omitted medical condition claims.