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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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#1 Posted : Friday, June 28, 2019 8:42:42 AM(UTC)

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Hi, I worked for TSA for 15 years, I spend 6 of those last 15 on limited duty because of an injury on my left shoulder. I was removed from TSA 2 years ago and since then OWCP has been paying me every 4 weeks. I have a case that is open and been approved for more than 5 years. I live in Puerto Rico and here we don't have physical rehabilitation or reasonable accommodation. Recently I started feeling lots of pain on my right shoulder. I had an MRI done and it shows basically the same injury as the one on my left shoulder. I've been talking with my doctor about this and he thinks that is an injury related to my former job on TSA since they are almost identical. My question is how do you file a claim with OWCP about this injury since I no longer work with TSA?


Edited by user Friday, June 28, 2019 8:44:45 AM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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acivilservant on 6/30/2019(UTC)
#2 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 9:02:46 AM(UTC)

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If you just found out that the right shoulder injury was caused by your employment from the TSA, file a CA-2. There is a box on the CA-2 that asks for the date you became aware the injury was caused by your employment. In that box you want to put the date the doctor told you he felt it was caused by your employment with TSA. In his/her narrative, they need to fully explain why they feel your employment with TSA caused the injury. They definitely need to avoid saying anything like "I think it might have caused, or it possibly could have caused" because that gives OWCP an open door to deny the claim. The doctor has to state that it is their opinion within a high degree of medical certainty that your employment caused the right shoulder injury. They will also need to point to the job duties you performed that caused the injury. I also suggest that you write up an employee statement detailing what you did on a daily basis for the agency. Be as specific as possible, for example, I had to use my right and left arm to reach above shoulder height when physically searching passengers. Put how many time a day you did this. The same for any other duty you performed on a daily basis. Give this to your doctor because it will help them point to the specific job duties that caused the injury and they have to explain medically how those duties caused the injury.
#3 Posted : Friday, July 12, 2019 9:40:03 AM(UTC)

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So, a new injury occurs two years AFTER you stop working, and you want to try to claim it was due to the job? The same job that you HAVEN'T been doing for two years. Good luck proving that. I saw what your doctor said, I just don't think he is going to be able to support it.
#4 Posted : Sunday, July 14, 2019 12:14:28 PM(UTC)

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I might try and see if I could get the opposite shoulder accepted as a consequential injury. Because of the accepted injury, you probably favor the right shoulder for most activities because of the injury to the left shoulder and the restrictions associate with that injury. The "overuse" of the right arm may have given rise to the current right shoulder issues.
If you go for a consequential injury, you don't necessarily have to file a new claim. It is part of the existing claim. However, you cannot get TTD or LWEC benefits for the same period of time on two separate cases as you only had one job with TSA and it looks like you get Temporary Total Disability (TTD) benefits on the currently active case.

The advantage of get the right arm also accepted is that down the line you might want to file for a scheduled award and draw your OPM retirement while it pays out. Obviously, two scheduled awards would run for a longer period of time than one such award.
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