We previously discussed how your doctor’s reports can have the greatest affect on your federal workers compensation claim and potential schedule award. If the report is not detailed well enough this could cause your claim to be denied, not because you do not have a valid claim, but because you have not proven your claim to the Office of Workers Compensation Programs, or OWCP. To save time, money and frustration it is wise to go to your appointments well equipped with organized medical records and the knowledge of what type of information your doctor must provide.
It is essential that your doctor acknowledge that you were not experiencing any of the symptoms caused by your work injury, or any symptoms in that area of your body, prior to the incident. In addition, it is necessary that your physician explain that it is possible for an individual to have a degenerative condition without symptoms and then following an accident, become symptomatic. It is possible that a pre-existing, weakened condition can make an individual more prone to injury that one without.
Should your federal workers compensation injury exacerbate a pre-existing condition, this does not mean you are not entitled to benefits. However, stating your condition in this manner will allow your doctor to attribute your impairments and restrictions to the work incident. If your records clearly reflect no prior medical treatment for the injured portions of your body within 12 months preceding the incident, your case will be much stronger.
Check back next Friday when we discuss impairment ratings!