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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 : Tuesday, December 31, 2019 7:01:22 PM(UTC)

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I have been diagnosed with ptsd after being assaulted in the line of duty. OWCP sent me to a secomp Dr. which diagnosed me with ptsd which was then added as an accepted condtion on my claim. What I don't understand is that in his narrative the secomp wrote the following.
Claimant's work injury caused his current diagnosis which is permanent as he continues to work in the same environment and is still exposed to similar situations which may cause permanent disability but he went on to say I was fine to work eight hours a day at the same job. OWCP approved the condition for medical benefits only. To me his two statements contradict each other. That was back in 2018 when I seen the secomp. The assault happened years earlier and I had lived with my ptsd for years without seeking treatment till my wife told me enough is enough you need to get help. Now I am still at the same job but it is to the point that my ptsd is affecting my job and family life severely. I have an appointment with a new Psychiatrist what are the chances I can get my compensation benefits add to my claim?
#2 Posted : Saturday, January 4, 2020 6:24:06 AM(UTC)

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Don't take this as if I'm against you but "Why are you asking for compensation benefits when you are still working?"
Do you mean an award?
#3 Posted : Sunday, January 5, 2020 1:13:09 PM(UTC)

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You need to start looking into vocational rehab which is what the next stage would be. They will not pay you to sit at home unless you have some serious physical disability that keeps you from leaving your home. If you claimed that PTSD does now allow you to leave your home they would assign a team of inspectors to prove otherwise and you would basically become a prisoner in your own home just to keep those benefits. I would prepare for vocational reahab and prepare suggestions you could make to whomever is assigned to find you a new job as far as what you feel you could do.
#4 Posted : Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:02:52 PM(UTC)

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Playing devils advocate the SECOP doctor confirmed the PTSD diagnosis and it became an accepted condition. The doctor stated this is a permanent condition which MAY cause disability in the future. Because of that little word MAY, they only accepted your claim for medical benefits because no doctor stated you were disabled at that time. Now, since you have been working this whole time, more likely than not, factors of your employment caused your condition to worsen. You will need to file a new claim and your doctor needs to give a detailed history of your injury and also needs to point to the employment factors that caused your condition to become aggravated. The doctor must state whether it is a temporary aggravation or a permanent aggravation and needs to fully explain why you are now disabled from working.

You do not have to have a serious physical injury to collect wage-loss compensation. You just have to have a rationalized medical narrative that is based on a complete and factual history of your injury. If your mental health doctor feels you are disabled from working and your claim gets accepted, OWCP will pay the wage-loss compensation. Be prepared for a fight because they know once an individual becomes disabled from working for a mental injury, it is very difficult for them to send you back to work but they will try very hard to do so.

The important piece of this puzzle is your doctor writing a good enough narrative explaining the history of your injury, what job factors caused the injury to either be temporarily aggravated or permanently aggravated. If they do not state what type of aggravation it is the claim will definitely get denied. Hope this information is helpful.

Edited by user Thursday, January 9, 2020 1:04:58 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

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