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OWCP Doctors Getting Injury Claims Accepted

ACS: Federal Employees Being Told to Search ACS for OWCP Doctors

ACS is not a good source for finding willing OWCP / DOL work injury doctors.  I repeat, it is NOT a good source.  Many doctors who are on ACS are not even aware that they're listed there.  Many of them don't even know what OWCP stands for.  In a lot of cases, someone in the doctor's office was getting the office credentialed on health plans like BCBS, Aetna, and United Healthcare, and they found Department of Labor and said, "hey, what's this DOL thing?"  

But, those doctors aren't trained in department of labor workers comp.  They will never take the time it takes to get trained to help injured federal employees.  It's just too hard.  So, when you get hurt, and someone in your union tells you to check ACS, you will get frustrated.  You'll call 6 or 7 doctors and none of them will take OWCP.  Why?  Because they think it's bad like state workers comp or they think it must be Medicare because it's federal.  

For you, it's just one more hassle that started when you got hurt.  You didn't wake up that morning thinking, "hey, I think I'll get hurt today so I can deal with endless battles and frustrations with my employer and with this complicated federal workers comp system."  And you go to someone that you trust for good advice and they tell you to check ACS?

ACS is not your solution.  It's nobody's solution.  ACS will just frustrate you.  Don't believe me?  Check.  Google "DOL ACS".  Click the first link on Google and see what happens.  Prepare yourself for unamazement.  You will be underwhelmed by how helpful it is.  When you're finished with ACS, you will be finished with OWCP.  You'll throw your hands up and say, "forget it".  You'll work with pain because the pain of finding a doctor who will actually help you will be even more painful.

So, don't go to ACS.  DO NOT CHECK ACS.  ACS will not help you.  ACS is not your solution.  ACS is that website you go to when you're in the mood to throw your laptop across the room.  It's the website you go to when banging your head on the wall has gotten too painful.  If you love a good migraine, go to ACS.  

But in all seriousness, ACS is the website of choice for anyone responsible for telling you where to go when you're hurt at work, but who is too scared to make an actual good recommendation that will actually help you.  The people you trust to help you when you're hurt should NEVER recommend ACS when they very well know of good doctors who can help you.  Don't accept ACS as a recommendation when you're hurt at work.  Expect more.  ACS is not your solution.

OWCP CA-2 Injuries: USPS Letter Carriers, Is Your Job Getting Easier Tomorrow?

Letter Carriers for the United States Postal Service can best be described as FEDERAL ATHLETES

Your job description describes physical activities that over time must lead to bodies breaking down.  The key term there is "over time".  This is exactly why the Department of Labor allows for federal employees to get treatment for conditions that result from hard word done over a long period of time.  These conditions are reported using the OWCP form CA-2, "Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation"

The CA-2 is used for reporting injuries and illnesses that develop over 2 or more work shifts.  2 or more.  I know letter carriers (and other federal employees from other agencies and within the postal service) who spend entire careers delivering the mail.  2 or more shifts?  Try 20 or 30 years or more.  The average American probably doesn't understand what a USPS letter carrier is required to do in a typical work shift.  Let's take a look at some of it here.

A letter carrier is required to work an 8 hour shift, but if asked by the supervisor to work overtime, is required to work up to 4 more hours (for a total of 12). Letter carriers are required to carry a satchel around their back or over their shoulder that weighs up to 35 pounds.  All carriers are required to load and deliver packages weighing up to 70 pounds.  (Side note:  go to a gym today and lift a 50 pound dumbbell and imagine doing that throughout your day, every day.  Then add 20 pounds.)   When delivering mail, carriers must bend down or stretch over obstacles to place the mail in a box while the 35 pound satchel is on their back or shoulder. And this is done in all weather conditions: extreme heat, pouring rain, freezing ice or snow, which creates a hazard of slips and falls, and carriers are constantly twisting and turning in the vehicle to deliver the mail.  
 
Extreme physical stress is constantly placed on the letter carrier's back, neck, shoulders, and knees by walking five to eight miles or more a day over all kinds of terrain and in all weather conditions.  I talked to a carrier in Dallas, TX who said she walked 23 miles that day.  That's 3 miles short of a marathon.

In extremely hot places like Dallas, TX, carriers are required to do their jobs in 100+ degree temperatures causing heat exhaustion, which can dehydrate and break down muscles.  In cold weather places like Boston, MA, carriers are required to do their jobs in frigid temperatures with snow and ice that cause carriers to slip and fall and hurt knees, ankles, backs, and shoulders in the process.  I can remember an icy day in Denton, TX where the only vehicles on the roads were mail trucks.  Rain, sleet, or snow, the mail gets delivered.

So, does anyone think you're job is going to get easier tomorrow?  Next week?  Next month?  NO.  And too many letter carriers are making the decision to not go through the difficult and complicated OWCP process and just suffer with injuries and struggle through daily work activities.  Let me tell you something:  just "sucking it up" actually makes your job HARDER.  Lift that 70 pound tray with back pain.  Step up and down from your mail truck with knee pain.  Put that satchel back over your painful shoulder.  Limp your way through tomorrow's 10-mile route. 

Your injuries are making your jobs harder and the federal government has given you a way to make it better.  FILL OUT YOUR CA-2 FORMS AND TURN THEM IN TO YOUR SUPERVISOR TODAY.  This allows you to get your painful condition accepted by OWCP and get treatment while you continue doing your job.  THIS MAKES YOUR JOB EASIER.  DOL doesn't want you to suffer with painful conditions.  On the CA-10, "What a Federal Employee Should Do When Injured at Work," DOL mandates that you report your conditions IMMEDIATELY and fill out your CA-2 form with your supervisor.  So, do it.  Don't suffer through it.

The CA-2 form exists so that federal employees, such as the USPS letter carrier, can get help for painful conditions and continue to work.  America needs its mail delivered, but it doesn't need it's letter carriers to break down in the process. 

YOUR JOB IS NOT GETTING EASIER TOMORROW.  SO GET HELP TODAY.  Report your condition to your supervisor.  Fill out your CA-2 form.  Call the OWCP-trained doctors at Federal Injury Centers in Denton, Frisco, McKinney, and Dallas, TX, or contact the OWCP doctor in your area.  If you can't find one, contact us here and we'll try to help guide you to a doctor who understands and is willing to help you with your OWCP CA-2 injury claim.

ACS for DOL / OWCP Federal Injury Doctors in McKinney, TX

Injured Federal Employees are being told to search ACS to find a doctor who can help them with their OWCP / DOL federal workers comp injury. 

Every time I talk to anyone who was told to check ACS, they tell me what a frustrating task that was.  If you ever get to the page that actually shows the doctors who claim to accept OWCP, you have to call several of them on the list to eventually find out that some of them don't know what OWCP is, and most of the rest of them aren't willing to take new patients with OWCP.  Many injured federal employees report calling 6 or more doctors and getting rejected each time.

So, why are federal employees told to check ACS in the first place?  Well, it's easier for whoever the injured person is talking to.  Telling people to go to ACS is technically correct, but it's the wrong thing to do if you're in a position to make recommendations for good, quality work injury doctors, and telling people to check ACS is easy, although incorrect.

Another reason people in leadership positions defer to ACS is because they are scared to make referrals to doctors who actually are willing and trained in OWCP. These people are scared of making bad decisions, so they defer to ACS, which is a bad decision in and of itself.

Some people are fearful of being associated with "bad" doctors who get themselves in trouble with the federal government.  We certainly understand that.  This is a sad reality for too many federal employees.  Federal employees feel like they have to look over their shoulders when they go to certain "bad" doctors.  We hate this and our patients never have these worries.  And by the way, these "bad" doctors are listed on ACS as well, but once you go to them, it's too late.  You're there already.

ACS has some good, willing, trained doctors listed.  They're just hard to find because you have to call so many of them to find the good ones.  Federal Injury Centers doctors are listed there.  We just don't want you to go there to find us.  It's too much trouble and federal employees have enough hassles to deal with when they're hurt at work.  You don't need this hassle too.

So, one of our offices is in McKinney, TX, which is located in Collin County, Texas.  Some towns that surround McKinney are Allen, Plano, Frisco, Princeton, Melissa, Celina, along with several other smaller towns.  We are here to help you when you're injured working for a federal agency like the United States Postal Service (USPS), VA, TSA, FBI, ICE, SSA, and other federal agencies.  Don't search ACS when you need a federal OWCP-trained doctor.  Call Federal Injury Centers instead.  We will get your valid OWCP injury claims accepted and we'll help you get better and back to work helping this country go.

Federal Injury Centers is with you.  Give us a call.

Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) OWCP Work Injuries

In 2016, 2.39% of VA employees had OWCP injury claims that were accepted.  This accepted OWCP claims rate is lower than the average of all federal agencies (3.19%), and this is due to a number of factors that we will discuss here.

VA employees have a wide range of duties that potentially could lead to work injuries.  Nurses have to lift patients.  Maintenance staff climb ladders and lift heavy equipment.  Janitorial staff could slip on wet floors.  Administration staff lift heavy boxes of paper along with a variety of other heavy items.  Of course, these are just examples.  Lots of other situations could lead to injuries.

So, when VA workers suffer work-related injuries, they have some obstacles that other federal employees rarely have to deal with.  First, the VA is a medical agency:  hospitals and outpatient facilities.  There is a false belief that injured VA employees are required to go to VA doctors when they're hurt at work.  This is simply not true.  An excerpt of the law from OWCP says the following:

Agency personnel may not interfere with the employee's right to choose a physician, nor may they require an employee who claims an injury  to go to a physician who is employed by or under contract to the agency before going to the physician of the employee's choice.

In other words, VA employees can not be forced to go to VA doctors when they suffer OWCP work injuries.  Don't get me wrong - VA doctors are world-class physicians.  They are some of the very best doctors in the world.  They just aren't specifically trained in OWCP.  Without this specific training, OWCP injury claims get denied.

Another problem VA employees deal with is simply not knowing what to do when they are hurt on the job.  DOL has a great document called a CA-10:  What a Federal Employee Should Do When Injured at Work.  VA employees need to be familiar with this document.  It's so important.  To summarize, here's what it says:

  1. Report your injury immediately to your supervisor.
  2. Tell your supervisor to give you a CA-16 to authorize medical care.  This step also says you can choose your own doctor.
  3. File a CA-1 or CA-2 when reporting your injury.  This must be filled out by the injured employee and the supervisor.
  4. Obtain a receipt from your supervisor for the filing or your CA-1 or CA-2.
  5. Elect to use sick or annual time or elect Continuation of Pay (COP) in case you have to be off work when you're unable to work full duty.

The next problem is one that all federal employees deal with, and that is not being able to find a willing and trained doctor who understands and accepts OWCP.  The nation's biggest problem with respect to OWCP federal workers compensation is a massive shortage of willing, trained OWCP doctors.  When you can't find doctors who understand OWCP, injury claims are denied - period.  When OWCP injury claims are denied, they're not counted in the annual injury statistics.

The final problem we'll discuss here is that many federal employees fear being fired if they report an OWCP work injury.  YOU ARE NOT GOING TO BE FIRED FOR REPORTING AN INJURY.  Look back at step 1 from the CA-10 above.  Federal employees are REQUIRED to report work injuries.  Those 5 steps above ARE THE LAW.  Supervisors can't fire you for following the law.  Some supervisors aren't well trained in OWCP and may not understand your rights or their responsibilities.  The CA-10 helps with that.  We actually had a supervisor who threatened a federal employee that he was going to be fired.  Of course that never happened.  We showed him the LAW.  That employee still has their job.  We've talked with lots of federal employees who have had careers of 20 years, 30 years and more.  We asked them how many people they ever saw get fired for filing an OWCP federal work injury.  Every single person answered "nobody".  In all of their years on the job, these career federal employees couldn't think of a single person who was fired for filing a work injury.  If just doesn't happen.

2.39% is the percentage of VA employees who have ACCEPTED OWCP INJURY CASES.  Denied cases are not counted.  The real shame of it all is that VA employees have such an important job helping our nation's veterans.  While they're helping veterans, who's helping them?  If we don't take care of our VA personnel, who's going to help veterans?  Federal employees make this country go.  When they break we have to fix them.  We have to get their OWCP injury claims accepted so they can get better without paying money from their own pocket and without using their own sick and vacation time.  When we can get their OWCP claims accepted, they can get all of the treatment needed so they can get back to work without re-injury.

Federal Injury Centers and the doctors around the country that are associated with FIC know how to get OWCP injury claims accepted.  While VA employees have a 2.39% accepted claims rate nationwide, Federal Injury Centers patients have a 100% OWCP claims acceptance rate.  We're committed to helping our injured VA employees so they can get back to work helping our nation's sick and injured veterans. 

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844-855-OWCP (6927)

Several Locations

Dallas, TX | 4228 N. Central Expressway

Frisco, TX | 5850 Town & Country Blvd.

McKinney, TX | 2709 Virgina Parkway

Quincy, MA | 25 School St., Unit B-2

Worcester, MA | 65 Milton St

Boston, MA | 520 Boston Providence Hwy