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Tag Archives: OWCP

How To Win an OWCP Stress Claim

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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When you suffer an injury as a federal worker which can be seen by others such as in the case of a broken leg, a facial scar or missing digit, it’s easy to file for OWCP workers’ compensation. This is because nobody can deny the existence of your injuries, and as long as the event occurs in the line of duty, you will receive a payout on a regular basis going forward. Stress is a reality for most Americans in our workforce, and federal workers aren’t exempt. Stress claims arise out of a federal employee becoming negatively affected by their work environment, making it impossible for them to keep working in a productive manner at their position.

Are you looking for a federal workers’ compensation attorney who handles stress claims? Please give our experienced lawyer a call today on 1-855-233-3002 to find out more about your legal options for compensation.

Stress Claims, Depression and OWCP

Stress can send and push you over the edge, particularly if you have an underlying or preexisting mental health condition. It is said that 1 in 10 adults suffers from depression, and over 50 million Americans will encounter a mental health condition at some point over a 12 month period. Many federal workers deal with severe mental health conditions such as bipolar disorder, anxiety, and even schizophrenia on a daily basis, but manage to keep their cool as long as they are not exposed to extremely stressful situations.

Stress Claims Not Taken Seriously

A stress claim is usually not taken seriously by federal agencies because of the fact that there is no outward evidence that is as tangible as, say, a broken leg. In addition, mental health conditions are stigmatized and feared in our culture, making it more likely for all parties involved to sweep it all under the rug. That being said, if a stressful situation at work such as being unreasonably singled out or harrassed by a harsh supervisor every time, or working in an unusually loud environment for long periods of time continues unabated, one may suffer a breakdown or psychosis, making it impossible to continue working.

Causality in Federal Workers’ Compensation Claims

It is important to note that you can receive help as a federal worker should you have emotional or psychological issues via the employee assistance program, or EAP, which gives you an opportunity to access counseling, assessments and doctor’s appointments to help you weather difficult storms. In order to qualify for an OWCP stress claim, however, there must be a causal link between your mental health crisis and its aggravation by a work-related activity.

Why You Need a Good OWCP Attorney

These cases are very hard to prove, which is why you need an attorney who has handled similar cases and won. Don’t gamble with your future by choosing the first federal workers’ compensation attorney you happen upon: call us today on 1-855-233-3002 to speak with our team of highly experienced federal workers’ compensation lawyers to learn more about how to win an OWCP stress claim. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.

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How to Win Third Party Cases – Federal Workers’ Compensation

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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According to FECA, or the Federal Employees Compensation Act, the Department of Labor has a legal right to collect expenses incurred if you as a federal employee are injured or killed by a third party due to this party’s intention, recklessness or negligence. This is a common occurrence in cases which involve dog bites or slip and fall in other people’s residences.

Are you looking for a federal compensation attorney? Please call us today on 1-855-233-3002 for more information into your legal options as an injured federal worker.

Third Party Federal Compensation Cases

By legal definition, a third party refers to an individual or commercial entity that’s not the U.S. Government. For third party injuries, OWCP will ask you or a loved one if you have a deceased individual who once worked for federal government to commence legal proceedings against said third party.

As long as you have a valid claim, you have the green light to sue any third party that acted in a negligent manner. Should you or your loved one refuse to file a lawsuit against a third party, your compensation benefits will come to a halt and you will be required to pay back any and all OWCP benefits.

Compensation Amount – Federal Workers’ Compensation

Should you be successful, you’ll be entitled to a fifth of the recovery amount after deductions are done. However, if OWCP incurs expenses that are more than your 20 percent cut as well as the deductions made to cater for court costs, and miscellaneous fees, the federal body will need to have payouts approved before you receive any settlements.

You Deserve More

As you can see from this post, OWCP calls all the shots when it comes to recovering compensation from third party cases. As a result, you want to work with an experienced federal compensation attorney to make sure you get the compensation you deserve by taking advantages of loopholes or including multiple defendants in your claim.

Need help? Please call us today on 1-855-233-3002 for your free, initial consultation. Thanks, and we look forward to hearing from you.  

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How to Provide Evidence Justifying Your Claim

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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Our law firm, McCready, Garcia and Leet, as a public service, describes the regulations that implement the federal workers’ compensation law (FECA). This article discusses how to present to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) evidence justifying your claim.

 What evidence do I need to establish my claim? (20 CFR § 10.115)

     You certainly know that the government won’t pay you simply because you state that you were injured or got sick on the job. You must provide proof, and this post tells you how to do that.

 The OWCP will only accept claims that meet the following criteria:

  •              You must file the claim on time.
  •             You must work for the federal government or another entity.
  •             You must submit medical evidence that justifies your claim.
  •             Your claim must demonstrate that:
    •             You became injured or sick;
    •            The injury or illness occurred while you were performing your job-related duties;
    •            You can’t work because of the injury or illness listed in your claim.

  Complete the checklists on Forms CA-35, A-H. You needn’t complete all of them, only the ones that apply to the specific occupational diseases you have.

  • Your medical report must support the information provided on your checklist.
  • You may submit additional evidence any time after you filed your claim

 The OWCP may decide that your evidence did not prove your claim. If so,

  •            It will describe in writing the additional evidence needed.
  •            You will have at least 30 days to submit the new evidence that the OWCP requested.

   Your employer may disagree with all or part of your claim. If it does, it must submit its statement with your claim or within 30 days of the date you filed.

However, there is a simpler way to get the information you need.  The law firm of McCready, Garcia & Leet represents injured federal workers across the United States. As lawyers who handle federal workers’ compensation cases, we can respond to any inquiries you have, so please feel free to contact us at (855) 233-3002


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Successful OWCP Reconsideration

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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OWCP Reconsideration Granted!

A client contacted us nearly a year after his claim had been denied. We advised the client regarding OWCP reconsideration and hurriedly obtained a doctor’s report, treatment notes and test results, and included that medical documentation with a written argument for a reconsideration request. In its reconsideration decision, OWCP reviewed the merits and approved the claim, stating the claimant had “submitted sufficient evidence to demonstrate that you have sustained an injury to your right shoulder due to performing the duties of your Federal employment, as discussed in the statement by" your attorney. Knowing what to submit (and when to submit it) can make a huge difference in the outcome of your claim.

The Federal Workers' Compensation Lawyers at McCready, Garcia & Leet can help

At McCready, Garcia & Leet, we know the procedural rules and the substantive law to provide you with the best chance of prevailing in your OWCP claim. By Michael McCready

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Surviving spouse benefits for federal employees

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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A question I’m occasionally asked whether a surviving spouse, with or without dependent children, will receive wage-loss payments after a claimant’s death. The answer is yes—if the claimant has died from the work-related medical condition(s). If the cause of death is not due to the work injury—the answer is no. Other dependents may be eligible depending on the circumstances. See a new regulation (8/29/11) at 20 CFR § 10.410. Surviving spouse benefits can vary and it is best to consult with a lawyer familiar with federal workers' compensation as well as the Office of Workers' Compensation Program (OWCP). McCready, Garcia & Leet have been representing injured federal workers as well as advising surviving spouse benefits since 1994. Contact us at 855-327-7012 for a free consultation.

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Back Injuries / Spinal Cord

Posted on November 24, 2017 by Michael McCready
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Back Anatomy 101: There are 5 vertebral sections in your back, these 5 sections make up your spine. It is important to understand what area of your back is suffering from pain.

  1. Cervical Vertebrae- 7 vertebrae forming your upper spine. (Neck)

  2. Thoracic Vertebrae- 12 vertebrae forming the center of your back.

  3. Lumbar Vertebrae- 5 vertebrae. Your largest, weight bearing vertebrae. L4 & L5 are most commonly injured. (Slipped disk)

  4. Sacrum Vertebrae- Is made up of 5 fused vertebrae. These are at the lower section of your vertebrae. It provides your spine with the foundation.

  5. Coccyx Vertebrae (tailbone)- Is formed from four fused vertebrae.

Causes of Back Injuries

Back Injuries can be brought on by numerous reasons. Some of the more common causes for back injuries include accidents, muscle pulls and exercise related injuries. Be aware what possible hazards your job could pose to your back. If your job requires heavy lifting, bending or twisting over for long periods of time, you may be at a greater risk for back injuries. However, office life comes with its own problems. If you have poor posture or your chair does not properly support you, you could be susceptible to back pain.

Signs & Symptoms of back pain:

  • Constant aching or stiffness from the base of the neck to your tailbone.

  • Sharp, localized pain in the neck, upper back, or lower back -- especially after heavy lifting or engaging in other strenuous activities.

  • Chronic ache in the middle or lower back, especially after sitting or standing for extended periods.

  • Back pain that runs from the lower back to the buttocks, down the back of the thigh, and into the calf and toes.

  • Inability to stand straight without having severe muscle spasms in the lower back.

  • Warning: (Pain in the upper back can also be a sign of a heart attack or other life-threatening conditions.)

What movements are painful?

After an injury it is important to be aware of movements that are painful and a decrease in range of motion. The two types of moves your back performs are extension and flexion of the back. When these motions are injured

Flexion - Bending forward, you stretch and engage your back and hip muscles.

Extension - Bending backward, you engage the muscles that support your spine.

What test will help diagnose my pain?

Some injuries can be diagnosed by a physical exam completed by your doctor. For more serious back injuries your doctor may request you take one of these 3 exams, or a combination of exams may be required.

  1. X rays- Will provide feedback if the bone structure is compromised or if there are tumors or fractures present in your back.

  2. CT scans- Will identify specific conditions, a herniated disc or spinal stenosis.

  3. MRI scans- Will provide insight about the vertebrae discs and nerve roots. MRI scans are most commonly used for presurgical planning.

  4. SSEP- (Somatosensory evoked potential) testing or magnetic stimulation

A number of other exams may also be used to help identify specific back problems. In some instances injections are used for diagnostic purposes as well as for pain relief.

Spinal Cord Trauma

The most serious type of back injuries are when the spinal cord is affected. If the spinal cord is injured the effects can be a life altering injury. Effects can range from numbness in the tips of your fingers all the way to being a quadriplegic. The spinal cord can be injured in many back injuries. Brunt force or violent twisting of the head or neck are the most common reasons for spinal cord injuries.

When the spinal cord is injured it normally forces the patient to rely on a wheelchair for day to day life. In some cases the patient will restore feeling and mobility in a matter of days or week. Most side effects that last over 6 months become permanent. In many cases patients will have to make changes to their home as they learn to navigate their new life.

To learn more about back injuries, visit McCready, Garcia & Leet or call 855-327-7012 for a free consultation.

by Michael McCready

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