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Federal Workers' Compensation

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

Here is a forum for members to share and exchange experiences regarding to workers' compensation related issues.


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limpy1  
#1 Posted : Sunday, January 20, 2019 10:01:46 PM(UTC)
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Would appreciate advice from someone who is knowledgeable on appeals. I understand a reconsideration is best. I did this to get the claim reversed and accepted and now, 8 months later received a denial for payment of my CA7's submitted. I was never offered a job within my restrictions. OWCP is copying my agency's response and ignoring the facts. My recent denial for any disability payments contradicts each line with another. They are basically acting like they didn't know why I was out. My termination notice says non-disciplinary due to my disability but that was turned into a termination due to not knowing my whereabouts,
As they are not disputing my Doc's medical for the short period I was disabled and seemed to ignore that aspect in my decision denial should I file for a oral hearing or review of written record?
My decision was unsigned and frankly it is so clearly erroneous I wouldn't have signed it either.
My only fear in a reconsideration is I already clearly proved I was not offered a job within my restrictions and my employer is not saying they did. I fear it will be viewed as repetitive and dismissed. I also do not want to miss the timelines for another appeal choice.
Rivkah  
#2 Posted : Sunday, January 27, 2019 5:54:33 PM(UTC)
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In the past, Jesse advised me not to go with a hearing.
edalder  
#3 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 2:48:15 PM(UTC)

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Do you have additional evidence not previously considered?

If you have already asked for a reconsideration, then you may be "out of luck" with getting a hearing. I cannot be sure without looking at your file. Generally, a hearing does have to be requested within 30 days of the initial denial. Going the reconsideration route will preclude from a hearing on the issue being disputed unless you got a"de novo" decision subsequently. Therefore, unless the current OWCP decision is "de novo", your options are probably further "reconsideration" or ECAB appeal. The main thing here is whether the most recent OWCP decision actually was accompanied by appeal rights that included the the right to a hearing, which would suggest an initial or "de novo" decision on this particular issue".

ECAB appeals take a long time (often over a year) and ECAB does not accept new evidence. It looks like you may not have any new evidence, such as a new medical report, to present. If that is the case, then your decision may hinge on whether you think you can write a narrative that clearly points out the errors in the most recent OWCP decision. This one is hard for many people to do. You have emotions invested in your OWCP case. Those circumstances make it very hard to write a narrative that sticks to the point or points that you want to make and "parks" the emotion "on the side of the road". But you will fare better with ECAB or any other appeal route, if you can do it.

If your decision does include the right to a hearing, but you don't want to wait for a hearing date, you likely have the option of requesting a hearing (as long as you do so within 30 days) and then state you want a written review by the Hearing Representative. Bear in mind that while front line OWCP employees probably had to work during the shutdown, hearing representatives were likely furloughed. So, there is going to be a backlog of work at Hearings and Review. But, you would get your case reviewed by someone outside of the District Office and the review likely would be faster than an ECAB appeal. (ECAB was also furloughed.)

If you don't think that you can write the narrative pointing out the errors in the OWCP decision, then you should consider getting some help. An attorney might be too expensive if you are only looking for wage loss benefits for a limited period of time. If you are still affiliated with the Federal Government (it sounds like you are not), you might be able to get some help from a union representative or maybe referred to someone, who is a lay person, but does this sort of thing. While it might still cost you something, bit probably would be less expensive than an attorney.

Your call on what you. We can only layout options You have to make the decision.

Kivi
limpy1  
#4 Posted : Monday, January 28, 2019 7:40:13 PM(UTC)
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I filed a reconsideration on the injury which was reversed. I then sent in CA7's and all the proof of dependency, direct deposit,and updated ca5 I was sent right after it was reversed.
I then received a response to the CA7's after a few months of submitting them asking me to explain why I was asking to be compensated for time missed before I was dismissed due to their reason given me of inability to be accommodated for my injury. This entire injury history was clearly explained in the medical narrative submitted when I requested the reconsideration for work injury that was reversed and accepted. Including the time of disability.
I had 30 days to send this explanation for my ca7's. I sent a few items I had to show they never offered me a job and 2 nwa letters prior to the letter they already had stating I was being let go due to my injury. I also sent a short medical from my Doctor with reference to my dates of disability and return restrictions again and date referenced the full medical.
A couple months after this deadline I received a denial for any compensation for time I submitted for payment and continuing it said. Their response was the the po didn't even know why you were out, where you were, and why you never came back so that's why you were let go. (Now ignoring my reason in writing for termination I was given and owcp mentioned prior)
I was given the list of appeals if I disagreed including the review of written record that I was contemplating. Examiner made almost no reference to medical reasons only the reference to my just not showing up back to work with my employer knowing no reason why.
It was just very contradictory to what I had shown to them and they had referenced to prior. It seemed to just copy the po argument they used before the initial injury reversal and I assume are still using, which was disproved by my paperwork sent to them.
So I am contemplating another set of eyes looking at it or wondering if it's denied, and I then try a reconsideration scrounging for new evidence that isn't repetitive, if I will be even less likely to ever have it overturned.
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