Through my interaction with federal employees across the country, I want to share the stories from 10 injured federal employees who were hurt by confusing system after they were hurt at work.
1. A letter carrier broke his ankle while carrying the mail. His supervisor told him it wasn’t broken and to finish out the last half of his shift. The next day, he told his supervisor it was red and swollen and she said, “It’s not broken.” IT WAS BROKEN, but he didn’t get the official medical report until the next day when his union president insisted that he go ahead and get to the doctor. This carrier didn’t realize his rights and responsibilities after he was hurt at work. Simply knowing about the Form CA-10 would have made all the difference.
2. A federal employee was hurt at work and decided to go see his own doctor, as was his right. The supervisor was upset about him choosing his own doctor instead of going to the company doctor first, and she threatened to fire him. He was understandably worried about losing his job until we sent him the law from the DOL web site that says he can choose his own doctor and nobody can prevent him from exercising his right to choose. Needless to say, he wasn’t fired. Nobody was getting fired that day for wanting to go to a doctor he trusted.
3. A federal employee visited another doctor in Denton, TX, and his initial report was buried on a desk for 6 weeks, preventing his OWCP injury claim from even being considered, much less accepted. He was forced to go to another doctor to get help and finally get his injury claim accepted. He had a torn calf muscle that he wasn’t able to get treatment on for 6 WEEKS until he finally found our doctors and was taken care of.
4. A rural carrier was injured in a town nearly 2 hours away from Dallas. The doctor’s office she called said she had to bring in a CA-16 if she was going to be seen at that office. This put her at a serious disadvantage since most supervisors have never heard of this form. She had to drive nearly 2 hours to see our doctor because we see all injured federal employees with or without a CA-16 and with or without an accepted OWCP claim.
5. A supervisor said that a federal employee who was injured lifting a box and falling down, was due to the employee’s “willful misconduct” because that employee was noticeably unstable and unable to walk. That supervisor was trying to prevent an otherwise valid OWCP injury claim from being accepted. The doctor got the case accepted after reporting that the “willful misconduct” was actually due to a supervisor who knowingly put an obviously unstable person in a position to get injured. Case accepted.
6. A letter carrier was injured after his mail truck was hit by another driver, causing serious injury to the carrier – an obvious valid OWCP injury claim. The claim was denied! His previous doctor was completely unable to get such an open-and-shut injury claim accepted. Our doctors are on it now. This case is going to be accepted.
7. Letter carriers in Indianapolis were being forced to drive to MICHIGAN to get help from doctors who were OWCP-trained. I had to ask if Michigan was also a city in Indiana. Having to drive that far was shocking. Not anymore though. There’s a GREAT OWCP-trained doctor in Indy now. Problem solved.
8. Similarly, a carrier was told, by someone that should have known better, that he had to drive 4 hours (8 hours roundtrip) to go to the “nearest” OWCP-trained doctor when she very well knew that a great doctor was trained IN THE CARRIER’S SAME TOWN. Unacceptable.
9. A federal employee was hurt in an obvious work-related accident. All reports were clear. The CA1 form was clear. Every doctor he saw wrote substandard causation reports, including and especially the company doctor. His injury happened several YEARS ago. The claim was never accepted. He paid thousands of dollars out of his own pocket. He’s had his job threatened if he’s unable to physically perform the job, which he can’t. The stress of having to make a living in a heavy job, with severe pain, and under the treat of termination is all due to the fact that he wasn’t able to find a good, qualified, OWCP-trained doctor years ago. Now he has. The doctors that we trained are on it. We’re going to work to get his claim accepted, get his money and time back, and get his life back.
10. A federal employee paid a “case management” group literally thousands of dollars to “manage” his case and help get it accepted. Mission Not Accomplished. His case is still denied. Paying a group for this “service” would seem to lend itself to denials that require more work and thus more payments to handle the appeals after the denials. Maybe I’m wrong about this (doubt it), but every single doctor who we have trained does all of that case management and gets all of those cases accepted WITHOUT CHARGING THE INJURED WORKER. Nobody should ever have to pay for a service that should naturally be a free service from a medical provider.
I can go on. There are 10 more for every 10 I could talk about. Case after case of injured federal employees being hurt by a complicated system after they are hurt by a heavy federal job. The doctors of Federal Injury Centers are solving these problems for injured federal employees. And the doctors outside of our group that we have trained are working with us in that same direction. Federal employees need and deserve better and we’re giving it to you.