Feb 25

No, federal workers compensation is not state workers compensation

I’ve heard injured workers, attorneys, and doctors speak about an injured federal employee with language that should be reserved for the state workers compensation systems. Many clients call in asking about their ‘settlement’. OWCP does not settle any cases, an injured worker could potentially get medical care and wage loss for the rest of their life. There is a potential payment called a schedule award, but that is a bit different.

Doctors sometimes use the wrong edition of the AMA guides when dealing with federal employees. They sometimes use standards that are applicable only to private employees rather than federal. One of the most difficult parts of getting a claim approved is getting a doctor, who probably hates writing workers compensation reports in the first place, write a report specifically for OWCP. Many doctors refuse to do it or refuse to edit a report that uses the wrong standards. This only hurts injured employees unfortunately.

Another example of a common difference is that in the federal system there is no such thing as apportionment. This means that under some state laws, if your arm is injured 10% through work and 90% through a pre-existing condition, the workers compensation system only covers the 10%. Under the federal system, regardless of your pre-existing conditions, the entire injury will be covered.

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