It’s easy to be shaken up after an injury on the job. And for federal employees, dealing with the injury and keeping all of your obligations sorted can be a difficult ordeal.
Federal government workers’ compensation falls under the jurisdiction of the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) with the US Department of Labor. As such, there are firm requirements for medical documentation before the government can accept your claim.
Take some of the difficulty out of the equation. Choose medical centers and professionals with the experience to successfully navigate the process with you. The OWCP doctors at Fed Help will handle your case with confidence while any one of our health care services can handle your treatment capably.
When should you seek treatment?
When you’ve gotten hurt at your federal job, it’s imperative that you seek treatment even if the accident or resulting injury only seem minor. You’re entitled to federal government workers’ compensation for it with the proper paper trail.
To obtain help as soon as circumstances allow. Should things turn out more serious in the long run, doing so will have benefitted both your well-being and any attempts to file a claim? Timeliness is an element you must have the evidence to prove.
And in the case of occupational disease, seeking treatment sooner will help you establish the connection between illness and your employment — another integral proof for any claim.
Are there any forms to fill out before seeking treatment?
Emergency treatment does not require filling out a form in advance. If your injury is that severe, remove bureaucratic concerns from your mind and get help immediately.
For all other medical treatments, you will require the written permission of a supervisor. Report the incident and have them fill out OWCP form CA-16, authorization for examination and/or treatment.
When you arrive at your medical center of choice, bring along your completed CA-16 form but also provide a clean copy of form OWCP-1500. Form OWCP-1500 is for physicians to bill health insurance claims directly to the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs.
Where should you go for treatment?
The injured employee is entitled to the first choice of physician, within reasonable local limits and subject to exclusions. Private practices and federal medical officers alike are acceptable.
Use of the word “physician” is a catchall for a range of medical providers you could see within the terms of your federal workers’ comp. The Department of Labor defines it as “surgeons, osteopathic practitioners, podiatrists, dentists, clinical psychologists, optometrists and chiropractors within the scope of their practice as defined by State law.”
Fed Help Medical Centers bring OWCP doctors, psychologists, and physical and occupational therapists together under one roof.
What are OWCP doctors?
The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs administers not only on behalf of the Federal Employees’ Compensation Act (FECA), but also per the Divisions of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation, Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation, and Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation.
An OWCP doctor is one qualified and enrolled to participate in these Compensation Programs. They’ll be listed in federal workers’ comp directories where you can look them up as you would in-network doctors for your insurance.
Why choose medical centers with OWCP experience
An OWCP-ready medical center such as Fed Help knows the ins and outs of dealing with Compensation Programs, from billing and authorization to which details should be most carefully documented. Our staff and health care providers are experienced, knowledgeable, and completely at your disposal as we tackle your work-related injury and subsequent federal workers’ comp documentation.
Think of OWCP physicians and practices as specialists — our fields of specialized expertise being federal workers’ compensation cases.
What steps should you take after seeking treatment
- There’s more necessary documentation to complete. Forms CA-1 or CA-2 denote traumatic injury or occupational disease and the intent to claim compensation (by the continuation of pay if disabled). They don’t necessarily have to wait until after treatment but they aren’t required beforehand either.
After you’ve tended to your health it would be prudent to make sure they’re finished, as they should be filed with your supervisor within 30 days. Your federal government workers’ compensation claim is then underway. Ask supervisors to return the receipt of notice of injury, attached to the CA-1 and CA-2 forms, for your records.
- If physical therapy is later needed as part of your recovery process, use the OWCP physical therapy authorization form to request coverage. PT or OT isn’t essential for compensation purposes, of course, however you cannot attempt to include them in the claim later without prior documented authorization.
Work with your qualified physician to fill out OWCP physical therapy authorization forms as the need may arise.
Who will pay for your medical bills?
OWCP enrolled providers are paid by the OWCP when injured employees seek treatment with form CA-16 in tow. The medical center bills it out directly and cannot come after you for payments on authorized services rendered in accordance with your work-related injury.
If your monetary issue stems from time off and lost wages – due to being denied continuation of pay on your CA-1 or CA-2 or opting into unpaid leave – consult and submit form CA-7, a dedicated compensation claim.
In many scenarios, getting hurt on the job isn’t the end of the world — especially for federal workers. There is a support system in place just for you and your family.
But the system won’t always be on your side, and so it’s important you rally the other resources in your corner. Don’t settle for less. Choose an OWCP medical center like Fed Help to get everything you need out of your federal workers’ comp.
From treatment to paperwork, we exist to help when working gets you injured.
About The Author:
For over four years, Amelia Roberts has been consulting federal government workers for their medical requirements. She has assisted many federal employees and, on the same hand, has covered profound aspects explaining endless medical beneficiaries through her articles and informative advice.