I get multiple calls from federal employees every day who are trying to figure out whether they need an attorney or not. In an ideal world, none of these employees would need attorneys. OWCP was supposed to set up federal workers compensation system where an attorney would not be needed. I’m sure there are situations where this has worked out just fine, but I’ve found that the claims examiners at OWCP and the Agency employees do not assist employees in understanding their rights at work when they are injured.
So what type of federal employees call me for help? I get calls from employees from all types of agencies….VA, Post Office, TSA, Secret Service, DOD etc. I get more from the USPS than any other Agency due to the size of their workforce and the nature of their job.
Here are some examples of what people look for when they call me:
1) Someone who got injured on the job that day or that week and is not sure what to do.
While I much prefer to get a call earlier rather than later, until we can figure out your prognosis. Will you be able to get back to work soon? On a limited basis? at all? What’s your diagnosis?
Its sometimes difficult to tell these things right away and it can be difficult to give advice at this point. Having said that, I can tell you what to look for and at what point I can help.
2) Someone who has an injury for a while and has had trouble getting a claim approved.
These are the majority of people who call me. Depending on the situation, I am the right person to call or possibly no one can help. Deadlines in OWCP cases are REALLY important. Additionally, if one argument is made, sometimes the claims examiner gets stuck on that idea even when an attorney makes another argument. Either way, the sooner after an incident I get a call, the better the chance that we can help effectively.
3) Someone who has a claim approved and is not sure what to do next.
We get these calls from people who have had something happen to them, OWCP is paying the medical bills, but they feel like they should be compensated for their injury. And they should. Often times we can help get a schedule award, which is an award for permanent damage to certain parts of the body.
4) The one-offs.
We get a lot of strange and interesting calls from people who have particularly interesting situations. I love these calls as they make life interesting.
Whatever, your reason for contacting an attorney, we are happy to discuss your situation with you.