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Three Things A Federal Employee Should Do When Injured On The Job

When injured on the job, there are three things the injured federal employee should do: immediately report the injury to the employee’s supervisor, ask for the appropriate OWCP form and fill in the form completely, and select a doctor or other medical provider of the employee’s own choosing and go to the health care provider for care and treatment.

Nobody wants to get hurt on the job or off the job. Getting injured is bad enough by itself. But the injured federal worker has more to worry about than just getting hurt on the job.

Injured federal employees face additional problems besides the injuries should they be hurt at work. The employing federal agency will ultimately be financially responsible for paying for the medical care costs of its employees injured on the job. While the Department of Labor-Office of Workers Compensation Program (OWCP) handles and pays for the immediate costs, care and treatment of the injured federal worker, the employing agency is responsible for reimbursing OWCP for all medical care and treatment costs PLUS a 15% administration fee.

This adds to the financial burden of the federal agency which has no way to adequately plan and budget for unpredictable annual federal employee injuries. It also creates an incentive for the employing agency to work systematically toward denying or reducing as many federal workers compensation cases as possible.

While the upper level agency bureaucrats, removed as they are from the rank and file employees and tasked with broad, overview problem solving such as that created by unexpected and non-budgeted employee injury costs, may naturally see a need to reduce these costs, lower level bureaucrats (managers and supervisors) may not. So the employing agency manages to persuade the managers and supervisors by considering the number of federal workers compensation claims and their costs when determining which managers and supervisors get annual performance bonuses.

This makes the injured worker’s immediate supervisor or manager a potential adversary or obstacle to getting the OWCP rights he/she is entitled to when hurt on the job. The employee gets hurt at work and needs medical care and the supervisor, thinking of his/her bonus, wants to help deny the injured worker’s potential OWCP federal workers compensation claim, or to at least diminish the extent and cost to the agency from an on the job injury or potential workers comp case. The supervisor therefore has a direct financial incentive to keep the injured federal worker from getting the all of the health care treatment he/she deserves.

So the supervisor often throws obstacles in the worker’s path to healthcare treatment and recovery. The supervisor may try to talk the employee into not seeking immediate treatment or may coax the employee into using sick leave or annual leave to “wait and see”. More often than not the supervisor will try to send the employee to the employing agency’s choice of medical provider. This will be a medical provider who works for the agency’s interest, not the injured worker’s interest.

The intent is to deny the injury is work related and/or reduce the costs of the healthcare treatment for the agency. This “arrangement” the federal agencies have with these health care providers (and provider networks) stacks the deck against the injured federal employee in an attempt to deny the worker all of the Federal Employee Compensation Act (FECA) and OWCP benefits to which he or she is entitled to when injured at work.

Fortunately, an informed federal worker can prevent the bureaucrats, managers and supervisors from keeping the injured employee from getting ALL the rights the worker is entitled under the FECA laws. Here is how the injured worker can protect those rights, get the healthcare treatment required for the injuries, and be sure that OWCP and the employing agency pay for all medical costs incurred by the job-related injury.

The first thing the injured employee should do when hurt on the job is report the injury incident and injuries to the supervisor. Second, the employee must ask for the proper OWCP form to document the injury incident and to request the agency authorize treatment of the injuries. The correct OWCP form for a traumatic injury is the CA-1. This form needs to be filled in completely by both the injured worker and the injured worker’s supervisor or manager. The injured employee must make sure to get copies of all forms, notes and statements written about the injury incident including copies of the CA-1 and the CA-16 (Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment).

The second thing the injured federal worker must do is select a worker’s compensation doctor who is experienced with federal workers’ compensation injury claims and who works for the patient rather than for OWCP or the employing agency. The employee can often find out about such healthcare providers from the local union officers, from co-workers who have been hurt on the job and filed OWCP claims, or by searching the Internet.

One such healthcare provider is AmeriMed Diagnostic Services. AmeriMed’s doctors and other healthcare professionals are very experienced with federal workers’ compensation injuries, care and treatment. AmeriMed works for the patient, the injured federal worker, not OWCP or the federal employing agency. AmeriMed also provides complete documentation and all of the paperwork the injured federal employee needs to file a successful workers comp claim and to get all the rights the employee is entitled to under the FECA and OWCP. If you live in or near Orlando, Miami or Tampa, Florida, or in or near Bayamon, Puerto Rico or Fairfax, Virginia, you can visit AmeriMed Diagnostic Services for treatment of your workplace injuries and documentation of the workplace injuries for the federal employee’s workers compensation case.

The third thing the injured employee must do when hurt on the job is to go to the doctor or healthcare provider immediately for proper diagnosis and treatment of the workplace injury. The employee hurt at work must seek immediate health care to prevent further complication or exacerbation of the injuries, to begin any necessary treatment of the injuries and to begin the journey toward recovery and return to full employment ability and status.

By making sure to do these three things when hurt on the job, the injured federal worker is much more likely to get the medical treatment needed for the work-related injuries, have a better chance for quick recovery and return to full duty, and have a successful federal workers’ compensation claim that covers all the costs of medical treatment and any lost wages due to the workplace injuries, which is guaranteed to the injured federal employee under the laws and regulations of FECA and OWCP.

Call, email or visit AmeriMed Diagnostic Services, Inc. at http://www.AmeriMedFl.com today to see how they can help you with your workplace injury or other healthcare needs.

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