The most important document required to be to eligible to receive a schedule award is the impairment rating performed by your physician. This must be included in your OWCP schedule award request file. The amount an injured federal worker is eligible to receive in a schedule award varies and depends upon which extremity is permanently impaired and by how much impairment. Each limb is categorized and assigned a number of weeks of compensation for loss of use. Should your doctor determine that you have a 10% impairment of your limb, then your award would be 10% of what your federal worker’s compensation wage loss benefit would be for those weeks. Recipients can choose a present day value lump sum or for the award to be paid over a period of time.
Your rating must be conducted in accordance with strict guidelines mandated by the federal government. Many doctors believe that they are capable of determining the impairment rating for an injured federal worker because they have examined non-federal workers compensation patients in the past; however, the impairment procedure for a federal employee is far different than that of a non-federal employee and it is important that your doctor is aware of this.
A potential issue related to the impairment rating is created by surgeons becoming hesitant to substantiate the impairment for fear that it is admitting an unsuccessful procedure and possibly malpractice. Fortunately for injured federal workers, the impairment rating does not have to come from your treating surgeon.
Always check with your doctor and his staff to verify the ratings were calculated correctly. You cannot afford to lose this important benefit due to the concern that you may agitate your doctor. Good luck!