Federal Workers Compensation: Choosing Your Doctor

Jul 13, 2012

Federal employees who have been injured at work know federal workers compensation can be a complicated process with many do’s and don’ts. After an on the job injury occurs, the injured federal employee does have the right to choose the physician of his or her choice to perform their physical evaluation. As imagined, choosing the right doctor is very important for the acceptance of your federal workers compensation claim.

It can be difficult to find a provider willing to support you through a federal workers’ compensation claim. You can use the provider search from the DOL for help.

Once a physician has been selected and an evaluation completed, forms must be filed with the injured worker’s employing agency to determine eligibility to receive benefits. If the medical evidence is supportive of a work-related injury causing a disability then that federal worker is eligible to receive Continuation of Pay when absent due to the disability. Form CA-20, the Attending Physician’s Report, is used to document the employee’s condition.

In general, the federal agency must continue to pay COP once it has begun, however, there are exceptions. If the employee does not provide their employing agency with medical evidence of a disabling traumatic injury within 10 days of claiming COP, or if the federal employee’s doctor finds the individual to be partially disabled and they refuse or fail to respond to a suitable job offer, then COP will not continue. In addition, should the injured worker’s scheduled period of employment end, provided that the employment period or termination date occurs before the injury date, then the employing agency has the right to terminate COP.

The employing agency is not permitted to disrupt COP even if disciplinary action has been taken against the employee. This is the case unless termination, in writing, or another action was issued prior to the occurrence of injury and the termination became final during COP.

Keep this information in mind when filing your claim and be sure to gather your medical evidence promptly. We suggest you find assistance early in the process to avoid future problems and hiccups.

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