Getting a federal workers compensation claim accepted by the OWCP can be difficult. In order to have an accepted claim, you must prove that the injury occurred as a result of your employment.
It sounds simple and it should be, however, medical documentation is necessary to establish the cause of injury. Often, this evidence is hard to get right, even for doctors that typically deal with workers compensation issues.
Part of the reason OWCP can be difficult for physicians is that the rules are different for federal workers comp than most state comp laws. Many doctors that are used to state law comp (which is far more common) are not aware of how the OWCP claims examiners adjudicate claims. The cause of injury must be very clear if not exhaustive.
Normal logical thinking would lead one to understand that if a doctor indicates in medical notes that the injury is work related, that would be enough to conclude that a claim should be opened and approved. But OWCP often requires more. A more detailed causation report may be required to describe exactly what actions or movements caused the particular injury.
These reports require much more time than most doctors are used to giving in these matters. Generally, doctors want to get going on the treatment and help their patients heal and return to full capacity as soon as possible. But if the claim is not accepted, the treatments may never be authorized.
That is why selecting a physician for your federal workers compensation claim is so important to your benefits. Without good documentation, your claim may never get off the ground and could result in a long drawn out fight with OWCP to get any benefits at all.
FedDoctor is here to help you with this particular problem. You don’t have to switch all of your care to your federal doctor, but it can be beneficial to at least see them for your work injury. While many FedDoctors treat other injury and illness types, they all spend a significant portion of their time trying to stay on top of the federal comp rules and regulations to ensure that when you present in their office with a federal on-the-job injury, they can help you get the treatment you are entitled to.
Many federal employees unfortunately think that they will not get injured at work and that this information doesn’t apply to them. The numbers indicate differently. 1 in 17 federal employees files a claim every year. Many never file claims because they have heard horror stories from those that have.
This kind of action can lead to even bigger problems later on. If an initial injury is never accepted by OWCP, later injuries that stem from them won’t be covered either. If a minor injury now develops into a major problem later, the employee can have a hard time getting the federal workers compensation office to accept it later. Claims examiners can point the previous, unaccepted condition as a “preexisting condition” and deny coverage based on a lack of relevant causation.
Whether you have an ongoing claim, or you were just injured, or even if you have never had an injury, understanding the difficulties that federal employees face is important. Share this information with you union and and encourage your coworkers to be prepared in case an injury occurs.
FedDoctor wants all federal employees to find competent care for federal workers compensation injury claims. We are constantly looking to add more federal doctors in your area. We don’t accept just any doctors to be on the site. We seek doctors who have a specific interest in helping with federal comp claims. If you are seeing a good federal doctor now, let us know! We want to help them treat more federal employees!