Oct 1, 2010 8:09 PM
Marvin, an Oroville resident, says, "I'll be lucky if I don't loose my home and everything I own." He has been receiving workers compensation payments for more than 12 years, but because of the state budget crisis, that's about the end. After getting injured on the job, he began receiving benefits in 1998. He and his wife have been living in their oroville home for more than 28 years. Two years ago, a stroke of bad luck. The couple's home burned in a fire. Shortly after that, Marvin's wife lost her job. About 3 months ago his benefits got cut in half, and 3 days ago, cut permanently, until the budget passes. Marvin states that, "this is money that I depend on to survive. People there don't seem to understand that if they cut these things they're hurting people."
We spoke with a representative from the state of California's Workers' Compensation Division who understands the Smith's position, but says they're nothing they can do. Susan says, "we've done everything that we could to continue paying benefits to injured workers. But we don't have any cash left in these accounts."
Division officials are upset that these are the repercussions. Their only solution is to use money from their own budget, but even that's not an option until the budget is resolved. "We don't have very many options at this point because we are bound by certain laws governing how we spend our money," Susan explains.
But as for Marvin Smith, he is a man loosing hope. "We're just barely scraping by when we get this money. And if we don't get it, we won't survive."