As we discussed last week, your doctor plays a major part in your case in obtaining a schedule award due to a federal workers compensation injury.
It is imperative that you have your doctor on your side in this and make sure his or her medical opinion is detailed in nature. For the doctors who do try to assist patients in these types of situations, often times, they are unaware how specific his or her written opinion must be.
To improve your odds of a less complicated claim, there are a few things you should know to dispute a consulting doctor’s opinion. First, make sure your doctor provides you with a detailed report to be filed in your record with the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, or OWCP. This report will be used as a rebuttal against the consulting doctor’s written opinion.
While your doctor may not be used to having his or her professional opinion questioned, it is not uncommon with this process and this is why the detailed and specific report is necessary. If your doctor is vague or ambiguous this can have a major impact on your case.
Hiring a nurse to assist with the collection and organization of medical records is another way to improve your chances of a more detailed report. Another idea is to gather all of your records, securing them in a three ring binder with tabs, and add a table of contents and summaries. This makes it easier for your physician to review the opinions of other doctors and provide an overall thorough report. For more on navigating the schedule award process, check back next week for the continuation of OWCP: Schedule Award101.