Federal Workers Compensation
If a federal employee is injured while attempting work that he or she is scheduled to do for his or her employer, that employee may be entitled to what we refer to as federal workers compensation benefits.
Federal workers compensation benefits can include:
- Lost Wages. This benefit is simply compensation for time off work due to the accepted work related conditions. This is also referred to as "Total Temporary Disability" or "Periodic Roll".
- Payment for Medical Expenses. This benefit is fairly self explanatory. The OWCP should always be responsible for your medical expenses connected to your accepted work related conditions.
- Schedule Award. This benefit is a potential payment (separate from lost wages) if your injury is established to have created a permanent loss of some function of your body.
Will any of these benefits be paid? That decision will be made by the Office of Workers Compensation (OWCP) which participates in the direction of that treatment by requiring pre-approval of payment for those services. The OWCP may request that you use only their pre-authorized doctors, and may request that their representative (usually a nurse) attend and monitor your medical visits with the doctor, visit privately with your doctor, and report back to OWCP with his/her opinion of your course of treatment. As in the case of private insurance involvement the procedures required can be frustrating to both the worker and the worker's doctor.
Federal employees often confuse their federal workers compensation rights with another similar benefit referred to as "Continuation of Pay" (COP). When the employee is receiving COP payments they often think that they are already qualified for and are receiving federal workers compensation benefits for an approved/accepted claim. It is often not until later that it is learned that they are not yet qualified for workers compensation benefits at all and circumstances have developed that prevent them from receiving full federal workers compensation benefit entitlement. Contact us now for a free consultation to find out how we can help you!
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