We help several different types of federal employees. When a federal worker is injured on the job, their claim is either accepted, under development or denied. Usually, obvious traumatic injuries are accepted without being refuted by the employing agency. Other more subtle injuries, occupational injuries or diseases, soft tissue injuries or injuries reported after a delay are often disputed by the employing agency.
These injured federal workers are the people we help. We help them by developing their claim. We help gather the necessary factual and medical evidence so that the injured federal worker can meet the burden of proof to receive the lost wage and medical benefits they deserve.
We also help federal employees injured on the job who have an accepted claim, but are facing the termination of the benefits by OWCP.
Usually, OWCP begins the termination of benefits process by sending an injured federal worker with an accepted claim to a second opinion examination (SECOP).
If that doctor provides an opinion that the disability has ceased or that the disability is no longer related to the accepted work factors, then the OWCP will send the injured federal employee a letter title “Proposed Termination of Benefits.”
By rule/regulation the Claimant has 30 days to respond by providing factual or medical evidence contrary to the opinion of the SECOP doctor.
We help those employees respond to the proposed termination by working with the injured federal employee’s doctor to develop the medical evidence which will help preserve the injured federal employee’s benefits.
We also review the injured federal employee’s file to confirm that the OWCP followed proper procedures. Benefits can be retained by showing proper procedures were not followed or by providing additional medical evidence that the disability still persists.
We also help federal employees who were injured on the job and as a result of said accepted injury, lost the use of a body part. Obtaining benefits for loss of use of a body part is called requesting a scheduled award.
For schedule awards, we help the claimant file for these benefits as well as appeal the denial of a schedule award. It’s important to note that a schedule award has nothing to do with lost wages and everything to do with the loss of use of a body part, meaning an injured federal employee can lose a leg and only miss a relatively short period of time.
So, despite the short time off of work, OWCP will owe the Claimant a payment for loss of use of the leg. In addition, the OWCP will owe the injured federal employee medical benefits for the life of the Claimant as long as the medical benefits requested are due to the accepted work-related injury.