Federal Workers Comp Blog

Should I File a Claim

When you’ve been injured on the job the onus is on you as the injured worker to prove that the injury is work-related. Before filing a claim, it is important that you answer a series of questions for yourself to determine the validity of the claim:

  • What happened? This will allow you to establish a broad view of the event that led to the injury and any surrounding occurrences.

  • Where did it happen? Obviously if the injury did not occur at work or as a result of work-related activities, you will not have success in getting your claim approved.

  • When did it happen? Just because the event that led to injury didn’t happen on company time doesn’t mean that it isn’t a work-related injury. Answers to the previous questions can help you to determine if a pain that you noticed over the weekend stems from something that happened at work.

  • How did it happen? What surrounding events may have caused the injury that you suffered? Can you determine the actual source of the injury or is a result of doing the same thing over and over for an extended period of time?

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Answers to these questions will help you to establish what to do next if you have suffered an injury. If you have any questions, there are representatives available to help you and to ensure that you get the treatment you need and are able to file your claim successfully.

Transfer of Benefits

If you are receiving compensation for an OWCP claim, it is a reasonable question about what will happen to those benefits in the event of your death; namely, whether or not your spouse will continue to receive those benefits if you die. The short answer is maybe.

If you are receiving benefits for a work-related injury, your cause of death will directly determine the answer to this question. For example, if you are receiving ongoing benefits for a work-related back injury and your death is related in some way to that injury, then your benefits will transfer to your spouse. However, if you are receiving your benefits related to a back injury and your death is the result of a heart attack or some other condition unrelated to your work injury, then your benefits will cease upon your death.

This concern can underline the importance of keeping ongoing and detailed records of medical appointments and treatments in order to ensure that accurate information is available in the event of death.

Finally, as a federal employee, you should know that in the event of your death, your spouse may be entitled to a Civil Service survivors benefit that is unrelated to your OWCP claim. Talk to an OWCP representative to understand your benefits and to ensure that your spouse receives the benefits that they deserve in the event of your death.

Choosing a Federal Work Comp Representative

Injured federal workers filing a claim with the OWCP should seriously consider hiring a representative. A representative provides you with an objective expert who is working for you. Even if you are well-versed in the filing and claims process, once you choose to represent yourself, you run the risk of allowing everything involved in the process to become personal. In any claims process, the claims examiner is tasked with trying to pay you the least amount of money and a representative should fight for you, helping you to not only win your claim, but getting the best outcome for you and your family.

When you are choosing a representative, you want to ascertain the following information: 

  • How many cases they have handled in the past - Experience is valuable when handling OWCP claims.

  • How much they will charge and whether or not it is it a one-time fee or an ongoing residual - Understanding pricing structures will prevent you from being charged unknowingly for service that you thought were included in your retainer fee.

  • Details regarding previous cases that they have represented - Provided details can help you ascertain how your representative tends to handle claims.

  • Whether or not they are familiar with doctors in your area who have handled federal workers’ compensation claims - These relationships can be invaluable in getting the service and assistance that you need.

  • How they handle communication with those they represent - It is important to know what kind of access you will have with your representative. Communication is invaluable when dealing with the claims process.

 Hiring a representative can be a huge help to you so you want to make sure you hire the right one. Do your due diligence and find someone with experience who will fight for you.

Postal Worker Injuries

Regularly, postal work registers as on of the most dangerous federal civilian jobs. Postal work presents several avenues for injury:

  • Dog bites - Though it may seem cliched, approximately 6,000 postal workers suffer from an attack by a dog. Postal workers are out and about during the day and dog bites are a real concern.

  • Slipping and Falling - Postal workers often work on their feet and walk a lot. That much walking while carrying loads naturally runs the risk of falling down. Additionally, snow, ice, rain, and poor maintenance conditions contribute to an increase in falling along with walking up and down stairs frequently.

  • Auto accidents - Along with walking a lot, postal workers who operate suburban and rural routes spend the greater part of their day in a vehicle. This constant time in automobiles increases the risk of automotive accident.

  • Overexertion - Postal workers repeat the same tasks over and over as well as lifting and carrying heavy packages. This type of overexertion can lead to all types of injuries including back strain, pulled muscles, shoulder pain, etc.

If you are a postal worker and you have been injured on the job, there is a robust workers’ compensation plan available to you to ensure that you get the treatment you need and the healing that you deserve.

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