Workers’ compensation (or “workman’s comp”) is a very familiar term for individuals in the workforce, but many only understand that term in regard to state rules.
If you’re looking for help with a claim, many workers’ comp attorneys only handle work injury claims under state law.
But If you’re a federal civilian employee who suffers injury at work, you must make your claim for benefits under the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA).
Making a claim under FECA can be complicated, frustrating, and protracted. Enlisting the help of an experienced federal workers’ compensation attorney can reduce your frustration and help you win sorely needed benefits from FECA.
A large factor in winning many FECA claims is a workers’ compensation causation letter. We can help you understand what this is. But first, some background on how FECA claims work.
The Basics of a FECA Claim
Federal civilian employees who suffer a traumatic injury or occupational disease because of work should report their injuries and seek medical treatment immediately.
An injured worker then needs to file paperwork with the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) to receive FECA benefits for their injury.
An injured employee has to prove to the OWCP that their work caused their injury before they can receive FECA benefits.
In most cases, the employee needs to provide medical records to an OWCP Claims Examiner to do this. If the OWCP accepts the claim, the employee can receive benefits including:
- Payment for medical bills;
- Compensation for wage losses; and
- Assistance with returning to work.
This might seem simple on the surface, but the OWCP can make multiple requests for additional information before they make a decision, and you could still end up with a denial at the end.
What Does a Workers’ Compensation Causation Letter Do?
The OWCP Procedure Manual states that if you didn’t suffer a “clear-cut” traumatic injury, you have to provide a rationalized medical opinion that proves your work caused your injury.
This means that your physician might have to provide a lot of detail about what caused your injury and how.
A causation letter is a detailed letter from your physician that explains why they believe your work caused your injury.
Your physician might provide this information at the beginning, a Claims Examiner might request this information, or you might need this information to appeal a claim denial.
It could take several months before OWCP is satisfied with your evidence and makes an initial decision about your benefits.
Consistently providing additional information and waiting that long for benefits can be harrowing when you’re dealing with an injury.
A federal workman’s comp lawyer can handle your claim matters for you and help expedite the claim process.
Why Do I Need a Federal Workmen’s Compensation Lawyer for My FECA Claim?
In general, workers’ compensation is a complicated and bureaucratic area of law. The process of filing a claim is even less user-friendly under FECA.
Workman’s Comp Lawyers Can Meet Stringent Evidence Requirements for FECA Claims
Claims Examiners can require a lot of information before they make a decision. You might have to endure multiple rounds of information requests just to receive a Claims Examiner’s “yes” or “no.” A knowledgeable workers’ compensation attorney can compile and present the right evidence to help you get your benefits.
Workman’s Comp Attorneys Have the Skill and Time to Represent You in FECA’s Difficult Appeals System
When you imagine attending a hearing to fight for your workers’ compensation benefits, you probably imagine entering a nearby hearing office to plead your case.
For many FECA claimants, this is not an option. Most hearings are only reviews of the written record or telephone conferences that are limited in time.
Appeals also happen only through the OWCP or the Employees’ Compensation Appeal Board. With such constraints on your ability to present your case, you likely need a work compensation lawyer to effectively represent your position.
In-person appeal hearings are even more difficult to obtain. You should know that there are only 12 Federal Employees Program Offices in the country.
There might not be an office anywhere near your state. Workers’ compensation attorneys have the opportunities and resources you don’t have to travel to these offices and skillfully represent your position in person.
Reach Out to an Attorney Today to Champion Your Rights
When you need benefits for a serious work injury, you don’t want any opportunity to slip through the cracks. At the Federal Employment Law Firm of Aaron D. Wersing, PLLC, we don’t let our injured clients’ opportunities pass them by.
Our federal workers’ comp lawyers are experienced and passionate about protecting the rights of federal employees.
If you need help, we hope you will contact us online or call us at 833-833-3529.