Understanding a Schedule Award – Part 2

… Continued from Part 1


So if your physician is not a federal doctor (a doctor who simply understands the differences between federal and state workers compensation law), it is important that you know and understand schedule award calculations.

Now that you understand that you are not going to forfeit any future compensation benefit rights, it is now time to understand when and why a schedule award may be the next logical step in your claim process.

Federal workers compensation laws require that you reach Maximum Medical Improvement (MMI) before you get your impairment rated by a doctor (Read more about Maximum Medical Improvement here). MMI is determined when your physician determines that your recovery has plateaued. This doesn’t mean that you will never, ever get any better, simply that you are unlikely to substantially improve over the next twelve months.

If you are about to have surgery, MMI is usually not reached until approximately one year has elapsed after the operation, especially if the nature of your injury is neurological.

The rules that doctors follow when evaluating an impairment are laid out by the American Medical Association. The AMA Guidelines to Rating a Permanent Impairment 6th Edition are the most recent version of those rules and are the ones adopted by the OWCP (read more about the AMA 6th Ed. here).

These are likely different than the version used in your home state, another reason why FedDoctor is so helpful to injured federal employees. We help you locate federal doctors around the country that understand the 6th edition and how it relates to your schedule award. There may be one in your back yard!

OWCP claimants are allowed to travel to see a doctor to have their impairment rated for a schedule award claim. While OWCP may not reimburse you for travel expenses, you are allowed to have a one time visit with for an independent medical evaluation without preauthorization and without having to change treating physicians.

To be continued…




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