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Forced to file unemployment???

I received a letter from the workers comp insurance saying that under Chapter 151, section 36b(2) they are requesting me to apply for unemployment and that if I fail to do so it could be grounds to suspend benefits. Does this mean that I am being forced to collect unemployment? Do I have to give up the sub job? The back story:

I am a special ed teacher in MA who got injured at work, healed, went back to work (in teh same classroom since my school claimed that there was no other place for me), got injured again and was subsequently fired. School claimed that "they could not hold my position any longer" since FMLA ran out. I received WC benefits till my doctor said I could return to work, but with restrictions. It's been difficult to find a job as I am licensed in severe disabilities but am restricted from working with the severe population. I've emptied my savings and taken a loan against my life insurance to make ends meet til the settlement goes thru. I have not applied for unemployment because (a) my attorney suggested to hold off on it because it may affect the settlement and (b) I am able to work, just not in my area. I just got hired as an on-call sub, so my guess is that I can't collect unemployment. We had the conciliation and the insurance wants to settle. My lawyers says that they're being stingy but that we should have a settlement before the conference, which is at the end of November.

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Dear Hurt-teacher: The notice you got was from Worker's Compensation. You have an anticipated settlement with your Worker's Compensation carrier in a few weeks, and you have a lawyer handling that case. I guessing one part of the worker's compensation agency doesn't know what another part is doing, therefore conflicting information. Your best bet is to notify the attorney handling your worker's comp. claim, so he or she can get both parts of the worker's comp. agency on the same page. Once you get your settlement from worker's comp. it may be in your best financial interest to apply for unemployment benefits; you have no guarantee that you will get sufficient sub days. The earnings you get as a sub will be deducted from your weekly unemployment benefits. But again, do not do anything until it is approved by the attorney handling your worker's comp. settlement, as you do not want to do anything that could damage those pending negotiations. Good luck, Local Lawyer



Thank you Local Lawyer. I've been trying to get a hold of my lawyer so I can act accordingly but have been unsuccessful. The notice says 60 days which is well after the conference so let's hope I get a response before then!


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