Every age in medical history has its contested diagnoses. 30 years ago, Carpal tunnel, cubital tunnel and radial tunnel syndromes, were considered chimeras or false diagnoses. Now they are some of the most widely treated illnesses, by both the medical profession and OWCP. More recently, medical conditions in which pain itself is the disease, have taken their place. Chronic pain illnesses come in many bitter flavors such as:
Arthralgias and neuralgias that cause pain secondary to arthritis and neurological conditions or nerve injuries; fibromyalgia, which is usually secondary to orthopedic injuries like knee and back strains (also carpal tunnel) and occupational stress. Chronic migraine and cervico-genic headaches can develop due to brachial plexus and cervical disk injuries, strains or aggravated arthritis. Chronic regional pain syndrome is almost always consequential to an arm or leg injury; thoracic outlet syndrome is similarly secondary to shoulder injuries, usually from repetitive motion.
In the vast majority of instances, the above noted conditions are the most common secondary ailments arising from initial accepted diagnoses. Aside from being known to OWCP as consequential medical conditions, these are ailments that the average OWCP claims examiner is taught to resist, unless their own rigorous rules and conditions are satisfied.
Fortunately, these rules are considerably simpler and more straightforward, however detailed, than those for many other programs OWCP administers. We have a number of clients who have successfully run this gauntlet, which shows it can be done. For example, if you have cervical herniated discs, and you develop migraine headaches or radiating arm pain, completion of a medical report and a (substantial) checklist, can meet the standard for acceptance of these conditions. Please note requesting these conditions be added often requires filing an application for recurrence, which will be discussed in a later post.
It is critically important for anyone with an OWCP issue, to remember that their pain or pain condition is a legal as well as medical issue. This means it often falls to our staff to assist client physicians to clarify the nature of the medical and legal diagnosis. For example, in the above example, we help you describe and document the aspects of your work and original illness, generating the problem, and how these factors come together to satisfy the requirements of the checklist. Whatever the nature of your chronic pain issue, you need a lawyer as well as a doctor to properly present the case to OWCP.