You aren’t alone.
This is a problem for attorneys/representatives as well as claimants. I find that the OWCP claims examiners vary as far as effectiveness and communication skills. There are some great claims examiners that actually do care about injured federal employees and there are other claims examiners that really don’t seem to care at all.
A few weeks ago, a woman called be about her husband who could possibly die if he didn’t get surgery approved by OWCP right away. The claims examiner did not care at all and explained that they had 30 days to give an answer to the claimant. The woman, now in hysterics, explained that her husband might die if he didn’t get surgery right away. The claims representative again explained that it did not matter because her regulations gave her 30 days to give an answer.
This can be infuriating even when not dealing with a life and death situation. I hear over and over again that claims examiners are not calling someone back or are being completely unreasonable. Many times, claimant’s believe that the claims examiner has it out for them. I personally believe that this is not the case and most problems are either due to the claims examiner being overworked or due to general incompetence of an individual examiner.
There are some solutions however. I suggest that after exhausting all solutions trying to reach a claims examiner, a claimant contacts the district director by letter and possibly the national director. Again, I would only do this after extreme action or inaction by a claims examiner.
Finally, one can also contact your local Congressperson or federal Senator as it is their job to help out federal employees. I find that the effectiveness of this depends on the politician although they tend to be more helpful in an election year.