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How much will I receive from my claim?

For My Federal Workers Compensation Claim?

You’ve suffered an on-the-job trauma or illness. For example, you might have a repetitive stress injury such as carpel tunnel syndrome or maybe you’ve succumbed to stress. On the other hand, a needle might have stuck you while you were treating a patient who had a dangerous infection.

Whatever the case, you’ve filed a federal workers compensation claim. Now, you want to know how much you will receive.

Types of Pay Federal Workers’ Compensation Recipients Might Receive

The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) provides many varieties of benefits. One of them is the…

COP

Continuation of pay (COP) provides your full salary for a maximum of 45 days if you suffered a “traumatic injury,” which means one or a number of disabling traumas occurred at work in a single day or shift. For example, an object could have fallen on your hand, rendering you unable to use a computer.

Let’s say you go back to work before you’ve used up your 45 day COP, but you suffer disabling recurrence of the same injury that initiated the original COP. In that case, you can continue receiving your full salary until you complete your maximum 45 days.

Unfortunately, your agency may try to block your COP by alleging one or more of the following:

  • Your medical problem didn’t result from an occupational disease or illness.
  • The Federal Workers’ Compensation Act (FECA) doesn’t cover you.
  • You’re not a U.S. or Canadian citizen.
  • You were not injured in your normal work area, and you weren’t performing authorized duties.
  • You caused your injuries by engaging in willful misconduct such as drinking or using illegal drugs, or you deliberately hurt yourself.
  • You didn’t report your injury on an approved form within 30 days.
  • You stopped working 90 days or more after you sustained your injury.
  • You reported the injury after you left federal employment.

The OWCP may interrupt your COP by claiming that you didn’t submit medical evidence supporting your claim within ten calendar days after you submitted it.

It may suspend your COP for failing to go to an OWCP-directed and scheduled medical examination.

Fortunately, you may appeal OWCP adverse actions. For more information, see our article entitled “The OWCP Denied Your Workers Compensation Claim…” Better yet, call us with any question you have, at…

Happily, the OWPC offers other benefits besides the COP. One of them is…

Disability Payments

You may get disability pay after your COP runs out, assuming you received it, or after the OWCP approves your claim if you didn’t.

You get two-thirds of your salary if you have no dependents or three-fourths if you do.

The OWCP recognizes as a dependent,

  • A spouse.
  • A child under 18 who lives at home or receives regular support.
  • A disabled child over 18.
  • A student between 18 and 23 who meets the following conditions. They haven’t completed four years of post-high school education, and they are studying full time.
  • A parent whom you support completely.

Unfortunately, the OWCP may give you the wrong disability payment, because it’s based on your salary. And the claims examiner might find it difficult to calculate that amount. For example, the OWCP uses a different method to determine your average annual earnings depending on whether,

  • You worked most of the year prior to getting hurt.
  • You didn’t work the whole year before you were hurt, but would have toiled the entire year had you been injured.
  • Your agency didn’t schedule you to work the full year, so you didn’t.
  • You only received nominal pay or none at all.

At this point, you may wonder whether or not the OWCP has paid you correctly. You can go to this government site and try to figure it out yourself, or you can call us at….. We’d be happy to answer any questions you might have about this issue.

The third major source of money that may come your way through the federal workers’ compensation program is…

Scheduled Payments

You may receive a scheduled payment in addition to other moneys such as lost wages if you partially or completely lose the use of certain body parts due to an on-the-job injury. These include arms, hands, fingers, legs, feet, eyes, and ears, among others.

The term, Impairment, means you’ve partially or fully lost the use of one of the body parts listed on the federal schedule due to your work-related injury, and a disability deals with the money you may lose because of that impairment.

Your scheduled payments represent a certain number of weeks’ pay. You get a different amount for the loss of divergent body parts such as eyes or limbs.

On the other hand, if you suffer a partial, instead of a complete loss, you receive proportionate pay. For example, if you lose 50% of the use of an arm, you will receive 50 of the scheduled award for a total loss.

In order to obtain a scheduled award, your physician must provide evidence that,

  • You’ve suffered a permanent impairment that has stabilized, meaning it will likely not get better or worse.
  • Your physician describes your impairment with enough detail that the claims examiner can visualize it.
  • For most injuries, your doctor bases his opinion of your percentage impairment on his specific diagnosis, not on your body as a whole.

Sometimes you’ll receive benefits from multiple sources. Occasionally, you may keep both, but often you can’t.

Dual Benefits

You can’t collect both OWCP benefits and the following:

  • Civil Service Retirement Act (CSRS) regular or disability annuity.
  • Federal Retirement System Act (FERS) regular or disability annuity.
  • CSRS Act Survivor benefits.
  • FERS Act Survivor benefits.

Instead, you must choose between them.

You can now see that determining the correct amount of OWCP benefits might confuse the most experienced claims examiner, so you, as a federal employee with no experience at all in this area, probably have many questions.

You may consult this government source for answers, or you can ask us. We’re here to provide information without cost, obligation or sales pressure. Simply call….