When dealing with a federal workers compensation injury, workers are entitled to compensation benefits if and when they prove their injury occurred while on the job. There are several benefits available to the injured worker, including: wage loss, medical bill coverage and a schedule award. A schedule award is payment for the permanent impairment to an extremity as result of an on the job injury.
The award is not available for an injury to the spine, heart or brain unless this injury causes impairments to develop at a body part linked with the nerve. For example, some lumbar injuries can lead to leg problems and some neck injuries can cause hand and arm impairments. The schedule award payment can either be paid in a present value lump sum or choose to have the payment paid out over a period of time.
As mentioned previously, to be eligible for a schedule award the claimant most prove that the injury occurred at work and has caused a permanent impairment to an extremity. Therefore, it is extremely important that your filed federal workers compensation claim be accepted by the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, or OWCP, and that your doctor provides a responsive report that is detailed and precise.
When your doctor is not precise in his diagnosis of your injury, this creates a whole new obstacle. It is not unusual for the employing agency to hire a doctor for an agency medical exam. If this doctor describes your injury or condition as pre-existing or degenerative, then he is providing the basis for the workers compensation claim’s denial.