All employees and officers of the federal government are covered under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), which covers medical bills and a portion or possibly all of an employee’s lost wages due to a work-related injury or disease. Claims must be submitted according to strict standards and within strict timeframes for acceptance, so this can be extremely challenging for any person unfamiliar with the process.

When you believe that you might have a federal workers’ compensation claim, do not try to handle the complicated process on your own. You will want to take the time to talk to an experienced Atlanta workers’ compensation lawyer.

How Does the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) Process Work?

It is again recommended that you consult with an attorney for help navigating the OWCP process. When you are injured on the job, you will have to file a claim form through your employing agency to start the case.

You could be entitled to medical care, lost wages, and a schedule award. There is actually no time limit on how long you can receive benefits.

OWCP’s job will be to return you to the workforce. This may be returning you to your employing agency or it could also be into the private sector.

In some cases, OWCP could issue a decision that you are capable of earning a certain amount of fictitious money in a fictional 2job and will reduce your benefits even when no such job actually exists. When you are not going to fully recover from an injury, you could be eligible for a schedule award that relates to the loss of use of specific limbs or organs.

After OWCP accepts a claim, it is the agency’s burden of proof to reduce or modify your benefits. You will have to continue treatment for an injury and make sure OWCP continues to receive documentation from your physician(s) for as long as you want to continue to receive benefits.

What is a Schedule Award and How do I Claim it?

If your work injury has a permanent effect on one of various ratable body parts, you could be entitled to an impairment rating more commonly known as a schedule award. You will be compensated for the loss of use of that body part.

When you have permanent loss of use of certain body parts or organs, you can request a schedule award by submitting a CA-7 Claim for Schedule Award, Claim for Compensation, and an impairment rating completed by your treating physician. An impairment rating can only be completed after maximum medical improvement (MMI) has been reached and has to be in accordance with the 6th Edition of the American Medical Association Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.

You complete your portion of the CA-7 and submit it to your employing agency. If your employing agency has enrolled for electronic submission of forms via the Employees’ Compensation Operations & Management Portal (ECOMP), you can file the form on the ECOMP website and your agency will complete their portion and forward the CA-7 to OWCP.

The number of weeks payable for a scheduled member relating to the loss or loss of use of the function or part of the body includes 312 weeks for an arm, 288 weeks for a leg, 244 weeks for a hand, 205 weeks for a foot, 160 weeks for an eye, 75 weeks for a thumb, 46 weeks for a first finger, 38 weeks for a great toe, 30 weeks for a second finger, 25 weeks for a third finger, 16 weeks for a toe other than a great toe, 15 weeks for a fourth finger, 52 weeks for monaural loss of hearing, 200 weeks for binaural loss of hearing, 52 weeks for a breast, 156 weeks for a kidney, 160 weeks for a larynx, 156 weeks for a lung, 205 weeks for a penis, 52 weeks for a testicle, 160 weeks for a tongue, 52 weeks for an ovary (including the fallopian tube), 205 weeks for a uterus or cervix, and 205 weeks for a vulva or vagina.

How are Schedule Awards processed?

Once your completed CA-7, Claim for Compensation, and the impairment rating are received, reviewed, and determined to appear complete by the claims examiner, they forward it to the district medical advisor (DMA) for review. The Claims Examiner may develop the claim by contacting the claimant, employer, or rating physician for additional information. A claimant may be referred to a second opinion medical examination to obtain a complete impairment rating.

Can I be Paid Social Security and Workers’ Compensation at the Same Time?

You can, but your social security benefits could also be reduced.

Contact an Atlanta Workers’ Compensation Lawyer

When you sustain severe injuries in a workplace accident in Atlanta, it will become a priority for you to find legal representation. Parsons Law Group handles all kinds of workers’ compensation claims in Georgia and knows how to get results in these cases.

Our firm has handled scores of workers’ compensation cases, so we offer people a wealth of experience. We invite you to call us or contact us online so you can set up a free consultation that will allow us to take a much closer look at your case and advise you of what your next steps should be.