Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

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.


To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
2 Pages12>
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
IN NEED OF HELP  
#1 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:06:28 AM(UTC)
IN NEED OF HELP

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 11

I Recently injured my hand on the job (a traumatic injury) and wore a brace for a whole year. I used all my sick leave because I was not enformed I could use a CA-7 for my appointments.  I recently had surgery on my hand and is now on TTD. I also have to do physical therapy for the next 4 weeks. I just received a letter stating that I am being assigned a nurse by OWCP who just happen to contact me at my physical therapy appointmtent (talking about stalking.) Does anyone out there have information on working with a nurse. Do not want to say the wrong thing. She is coming to my physical therapy appt. tomorrow. Star   HELP
bettyveronica  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 10:30:38 AM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

Hey, Newbie - I don't know about  a nurse because I haven't been assigned one yet.  It is so common for the OWCP types within the agency HRO office to mess this OWCP paperwork up, and then blame it on you.  I filed an EEO complaint at my place of work for refusal to grant reasonable accommodations plus I added harassment for messing up my OWCP claim.  The EEO Investigator called me today to get my version under oath, and you can bet on this  - one of my bases under EEO is disability harassment, caused by the Agency and their hacks in the HRO.  The Agency is upset because the contracted HRO gave the Agency Managers lousy info too.  I recommend to all that file OWCP claims and get their claims messed up too,  to file EEO complaints based on disability harassment against the Managers and against the Agency HRO.
 
What have you got to lose?  I expect the Agency HRO Investigator will rule for the Agency - that is their job - after all, they are paid by the Agency, but I will now have this addtional issue to take into Federal Court.  And Newbie, trust your gut at all times while dealing with management or OWCP on your issues.  Take care of yourself now - no one else will once you are injured at work.Wink
IN NEED OF HELP  
#3 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:23:47 AM(UTC)
IN NEED OF HELP

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 11

Thanks for the good advise. I am getting a lawyer and was wondering if I needed to file a EEO complaint or go to my union. Do you have any advise about this next question. Since I am on TTD am I limited on my travel. I have plans to travel on the 4th of July. Not sure how this works.Star

bettyveronica  
#4 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 11:48:31 AM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

You can interview the Union rep, and get a feel if they are going to be aggressive enough for you.  Avoid MSPB - Merit Systems Protection Board - they are a Management tool.  Interview the Union rep and then decide - do I want to go with them, or have I been discriminated against based on my disability, violations of the Rehabilitation Act, my gender, disability harassment/hostile working conditions, age, race, ethnicity.  The EEOC takes a long time but they are a third party and and I think we have our best shot there.  Remember - the Union rep still has to work there for the same agency that you do - how aggressive can they be?  Some will step up - others may not. I am glad you are securing an attorney.  I have already been to mediation - what a stupid waste of time - today they asked me again if I wanted to settle.  I'll play the game.  I will send them a proposed resolution.  But, in the end I am preparing to go to Federal Court.  I did not want to go this way - but many times the under trained and arrogant and unaccountable agency managers push you into a corner and leave you no dignified options.  You're not a slave.  You are a dignified Federal employee.  What is TTD, dear?  Somebody needs to chime in here and clear that up for you.  And, I am sure they will.  Don't give up! Wink
IN NEED OF HELP  
#5 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 2:45:34 PM(UTC)
IN NEED OF HELP

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 6/29/2010(UTC)
Posts: 11

betttyveronica
 
Totally Temporary Disability(TTD). I still am not sure about the OWCP Nurse. How much information do I give her at my physical therapy appointment. Does she have to come in to my physical therapy.Confused
bettyveronica  
#6 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 3:05:19 PM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

TTD sounds like a good thing on the face of it.  About the nurse - I don't know.  Is it like a nurse from "One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest", like Nurse Ratched?  Someone will know.  I have not had that splendid experience yet.  Good luck.  Someone will answer you soon.  Don't ever falter!Wink
cac123  
#7 Posted : Tuesday, June 29, 2010 9:50:36 PM(UTC)
cac123

Rank: Newbie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 4/6/2010(UTC)
Posts: 18

OWCP can assign you a nurse.  Failure to cooperate with the nurse can lead to OWCP suspending your right to compensation.  The nurse's job is to make sure that your doctor's reports find their way into OWCP's file so that they can monitor your progress towards a return to work.  The nurse will write to the doctor periodically for updates on your status and will advise the OWCP claims examiner.  They will also check with your EA to see if limited duty work is available.
Generally, the nurses are better than the CEs, but opinions will vary.  It is best to cooperate with the nurse because the CEs will generally take the nurse's recommendations at face value.  Speaking from experience, when a nurse is assigned the CE will turn his or her attention to other cases and just check for the monthly reports to make sure that everything is going smoothly.  They'll only get involved if there is a problem.  Again, that is only my experience but it's something to keep in mind.
jesse slade  
#8 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 5:17:04 AM(UTC)
jesse slade

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,142

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
In need of help: If the OWCP nurse was assigned to you "to make sure that your doctor's reports find their way into OWCP's file" as Cac123 stated, then she would not be stalking you, she'd be stalking your doctor.
 
Treat your nurse as you would a deposition, if she asks yes or no questions, answer with yes or no. When she starts asking you medical questions that require diagnosis or opinion, tell her you're not a doctor. These people are not your friends and are not on your side.
 
Yes, you must cooperate with the nurse, but every lie the nurse tells your CE will be believed even if you can prove the lie. They will spin what you tell them to the benefit of OWCP and not your medical treatment or recovery.
 
I'm interested where cac123's experience comes from...claimant or claims examiner???
bettyveronica  
#9 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 5:48:24 AM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

This last response makes sense too.  The process is adversarial - like you are a liar and you would fake an illness or injury.  Let me tell you - a couple weeks ago - I was still waiting for my OWCP claim file.  How can you proceed to a hearing without a claim file?  It was scheduled for a few days away.  They gave me serious attitude - like it was my fault I did not have the claim file, which I had ordered three times previously.  Now how hostile is that?  I was placed in this very toxic predictament where I was supposed to "beg" an unprofessional, and allegedly quite angry and hateful OWCP employee for my file (not a CE).
 
This alleged ingrained hate and institutionalized disdain for OWCP claimants, federal employees and tax payers has to stop sometime.  Make it now, on your watch.  After failing to have a civil conversation with this fellow federal employee, I called the Department of Labor for Hilda Solis's office.  I was placed in contact with the OWCP contact who made sure my OWCP file arrived the next day, and who assured that partiuclar employee was taken off phone duty for a few days and when I called back to that OWCP office, and they answered, I continued to be assertive with them so that the previous scenario would not repeat itself.
 
As for this nurse, listen to everyone on here - make your best judgement for your situation, and then act.  In this game, we would like to organize, but it is every injured employee for him/herself.  But leave your footprint - stand up -  don't go broke waiting for OWCP!   Act.  Cool 
stapler  
#10 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:30:32 AM(UTC)
stapler

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/22/2010(UTC)
Posts: 135

In Need,

This is going to be a long post, but I learned the hard way and hope to help spare you and anyone else in this position some grief.

The nurse intervention program for medical case management is voluntary. Refer to the FECA Manual Part 3 printed 03/25/2010 p17.

(5) Once the call is completed, the nurse notifies the CE of the result using a Form CA-110 and recommending appropriate action on Form OWCP-57.
Although the intervention program is voluntary, participation should be
strongly encouraged. A claimant who refuses to be visited may onetheless
allow intervention by telephone. If the claimant refuses to participate
altogether, the nurse ends the telephone conversation but reports this result to the CE. The nurse should attempt to secure a medical release from the claimant so that communication may be initiated with the attending physician.

The ECAB has even held that there is a difference between medical management and vocational rehab. Here's an ECAB case dated June 23, 2008, Docket No. 08-528. I strongly suggest you read this. You can go to the ECAB site or read the same case on the Linehan website. I've posted a link.

The Board finds that the field nurse’s activities were limited to the role set forth in the Office’s procedures, i.e., of attempting to return appellant to work at the employing establishment and providing medical management services, a preliminary reemployment effort which does not constitute vocational rehabilitation as contemplated under the Act, the implementing regulations or the Office’s procedures.[13] Appellant’s refusal to cooperate with the nurse intervention program does not constitute a failure or refusal to cooperate with the early or necessary stages of vocational rehabilitation under section 8113 of the Act

http://www.linehanpc.com/federalworkerscompensation/rmvusps08528.html

However, under Vocational Rehab, cooperation with the nurse is mandatory and the regulation for that is 5 U.S.C 8113.

OWCP may try to bully you and threaten you if you don't cooperate. Again, see the ECAB case above.

You can refuse to cooperate. You can tell your provider that he/she is not to talk to the nurse outside of your presence and any contact is to be documented, etc.

You have options, but there may be consequences. You have to decide if it's worth the hassle. Whether you cooperate with the nurse or not, chances are he/she will do as they please, i.e. go behind your back anyway.

I refused to cooperate with the second nurse. OWCP threatened to cut off comp. I called their bluff and cited the ECAB case above. All they did was tell the nurse not to contact me, but they kept her on the case.

Unless there has been an increase, nurses can earn up to 4000 per case. While you may be fighting tooth and nail for medical benefits or pay, OWCP will prompt pay the nurse almost immediately upon receipt of her bill. And don't think they won't submit bills to eat up every penny possible to reach the max.

I've dealt with two in the past and both were horrible. I won't try to detail all the dirt they did. However, I can tell you from personal experience that they operate like moles. The nurse may seem to "befriend" you. Beware. If the nurse can't sucker you, he/she will try to ingratiate his/her self to your provider and their staff.

The nurse is supposed to file a monthly report and they bill for everything: mileage, phone calls, emails, faxes, picking up records, reading them, filling out forms, going to the post office, calling you, etc. I suggest you request monthly copies of your case file, which should contain a copy of the reports.

I speak from personal experience. The problem with nurses having access to your provider and records is that they are able to intercept medical documents and prevent them from being forwarded for inclusion in your case file. The first nurse I had withheld medical documents for almost a year that would have supported claim expansion and bill payments. She also lied to the provider. I can only speak of the two that I had and they will say anything to your doctor to get him/her to release you. The fact that she this first nurse had closed her case file on me six months prior and was no longer receiving payment in my case made it all the more egregious that she retained my records.

The second nurse must have been briefed because she claimed to have destroyed all emails to the provider and not to have kept any written notes of phone conversations and, get this, she "destroyed" my case file after she was done. According to her invoices, she contacted the provider multiple times per week by phone and email. There was even a four month period of time in which I only had one appt, but she had regular contact. Wonder what they could have been discussing, as I was not being treated? Hmmmm.

In other words, all she really had to provide were invoices for billing, but no proof of the work she did. Likewise, I have no way of knowing what was said or done, or if she obtained and destroyed any medical documentation.

If you have a good relationship with your doctor and the staff, don't be surprised if suddenly you are on the outside looking in and the nurse is their new best friend. Don't be surprised if you ask questions of your provider or staff only to be told that you need to go through your "case manager/nurse."

I wish someone with insight, and a legitimate desire to help claimants, could shed light on what goes on behind closed doors between the nurses and your providers that makes them so willing to cooperate with the nurse to the detriment to you the patient. But it happens more frequently than you know.

Bottom line. Be vigilant. Do not blindly trust the nurse because he/she has a financial interest that is tied to returning you to work, or at minimum getting you off the rolls asap, regardless of your circumstances.    



stapler  
#11 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 11:37:38 AM(UTC)
stapler

Rank: Advisor

Groups: Registered
Joined: 3/22/2010(UTC)
Posts: 135

Before I forget, you can tell the nurse that he/she may not come into the exam room with you when you are being examined by the doctor.

You can also request OWCP provide you with credentials. Supposedly, there are standards for the nurses they use in terms of training and experience.

You can also check the current license with the State Nursing Board and inquire about any disciplinary problems, etc.
bettyveronica  
#12 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 12:16:26 PM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

There you have it - from the horse's mouth - what to expect.  It sounds like more of that little bunny's "life in hell". My doctors are pretty militant and pro-patient.  I would be surprised if they stabbed me in the back, in case I have to have a "nurtz".
 
This is extremely valuable information.  We are definitely "listening up".  This info is worth dollars, folks.  Either in your pocket or the pocket of the Agency.
 
Again, I wish to remind you, strongly consider filing an EEO complaint in addition to filing an OWCP claim.  You'll know yourself if you have endured disability discrimination, harassment, hostile working conditions, etc.  I got hurt many years ago and after the hell I went through I swore to myself that if I ever was broke again because of an injury, I would accept the honorable work of scrubbing toilet bowls at Motel 6 before I would ever work for OWCP, or for a bill collector.  Which is what you end up enduring, due to all of OWCP's delays, unaccountability, and your former or current Agency's out right false statements. 
 
The minute you file for OWCP benefits, you're dead in your Agency's eyes anyway, so you might as well file the accompanying EEO complaint, because at least you've got a shot there.  Under OWCP, you will come to the end of the line, eventually with no recourse.
 
Thank you, stapler for sharing - well done - you make us stronger!  Never give up!Clap
jesse slade  
#13 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:40:56 PM(UTC)
jesse slade

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,142

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
As always, Stapler excellent insight and advice we can use.
 
I was assigned a 'nurse' in the beginning and she told lies that still stand, even after hard core proof of her lies. I completely agree with your experience of billing. At the time, my doctors weren't being paid, but the nurse got every penny of her $4,000 just as fast as she could bill OWCP for doing nothing but creating problems.
 
She was also very intent on coming to my home. She wanted every appointment to take place there. I absoutely refused to allow her access.  Mine also told me my records had been shredded when I asked for them.
 
These are the experiences that show the sort of 'doctors' and 'nurses' assigned to claimants and the way they manipulate everything to OWCP's benefit. OWCP pays their salaries. They aren't going to jeopardize their paychecks.
 
My experience taught me to write a letter to my physicians informing their office(s) to contact me immediately if anyone shows up to discuss my medical records and that unless whoever is asking has a signed authorization or legal paperwork, all privacy laws apply.
 
I completely agree that you have to keep up on getting copies of your file.
 
 
bettyveronica  
#14 Posted : Wednesday, June 30, 2010 1:50:15 PM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

Roger that, Jesse! Thumbs Up
Snowed  
#15 Posted : Thursday, July 15, 2010 10:55:21 AM(UTC)
Snowed

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/1/2009(UTC)
Posts: 1,987

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Jesse-
I am glad I read your warning about checking file to make sure reports are there.  All my nursre submitted was the cover letter.  I called my Dr. and they said they sent 21 pages!!  So I immediately sent in a copy of all my files.  THIS IS CRIMINAL!  I called my Dr. back and said that she had no authorization from me to receive a copy of my file.  The nurse typed the address of OWCP and put it on the top of the letter to my doctor.  There is no official letterhead and I had to argue with my doctor's office so they would not send her another document.  If OWCP wants her to have a copy, THEY can send it to her.
March for Justice!
jesse slade  
#16 Posted : Thursday, July 15, 2010 11:50:33 AM(UTC)
jesse slade

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 1,142

Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
That's exactly right. I actually wrote a letter to my doctor that ANY request for medical information from anyone other than the OWCP is to have a signed release from me.
 
Your missing report is typical. Criminal but typical.
bettyveronica  
#17 Posted : Thursday, July 15, 2010 12:13:20 PM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

Thanks for the heads up from both of you!!Wink
halfaday  
#18 Posted : Friday, July 16, 2010 9:13:38 PM(UTC)
halfaday

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/30/2008(UTC)
Posts: 185

If you have nothing to hide, cooperate with the nurse. He/She can help you get what you want or need from OWCP.
bettyveronica  
#19 Posted : Saturday, July 17, 2010 1:49:42 AM(UTC)
bettyveronica

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined:: 6/17/2002(UTC)
Posts: 342

I don't have a nurse, but my medical history and OWCP life is an open book - halfaday - I do not know where you get your information, your training, or where you work, but I can only hope you are passing this on because you have been trained to be suspicious and that it does not come naturally for you.Embarrassed
halfaday  
#20 Posted : Saturday, July 17, 2010 2:07:50 AM(UTC)
halfaday

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/30/2008(UTC)
Posts: 185

Six years on OWCP had nurse who got my postmaster to give me work. Not all OWCP employees are out to get you , unless your paraniod!
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
2 Pages12>
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 1.437 seconds.