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A Quickstart Guide to the OWCP and Federal Workers' Comp Claims

A Quickstart Guide to the OWCP and Federal Workers' Comp Claims

What Is the OWCP? What Does an OWCP Attorney Do?

If you experienced a work injury as a federal employee, you may consider filing for workers’ compensation. The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) is the umbrella program that will manage your case and remuneration.

What Is the OWCP?

The OWCP “administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.” Its mission is to:

  • “[Minimize] the human, social and financial impact of work-related injuries.
  • [Improve] employer and employee representative performance in the delivery of services to injured workers and in the administration of OWCP statutes.
  • [Enhance] the fiscal integrity of managed public trust funds.”

The OWCP consists of several entities that handle workers’ compensation claims depending on the claimant’s job. These include:

  • The Division of Federal Employee’s Compensation (DFEC), which handles claims from government workers.
  • The Division of Energy Employees Occupational Illness Compensation (DLEEOIC), which handles claims from employees of the Department of Energy.
  • The Division of Long Shore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation (DLHWC), for claimants who work on docks and other land-based maritime industries.
  • The Division of Coal Mine Workers’ Compensation (DCMWC), for claimants who work in and around mines.

The OWCP administers disability compensation through these four programs. As a federal employee, your case will be handled differently than if you were to file a traditional workers’ compensation claim. OWCP programs have different laws, damage caps, and other regulations for disability. For example, you do not have to prove an employer was negligent if you make a private workers’ compensation claim. However, you must prove negligence to qualify for certain federal entitlements. Furthermore, federal claims usually have higher damage caps and limits than traditional insurance.

Why Might I Need an OWCP Attorney?

An OWCP attorney can help you file a federal workers’ compensation claim and get a fair, just result. The OWCP’s job is to get you healthy and back to work, but it can treat claims too hastily and deny legitimate claims or offer inadequate benefits. A qualified attorney can help prove why you need a certain amount of time to recover and how much money you will need to pay for essential therapy and treatment.

What Injuries and Compensation Are Eligible?

You may be eligible for an OWCP claim in a number of situations; for example, traumatic accidents and occupational injuries. The scope of your injuries and inability to work affect the amount of compensation you receive. For example, if you lost a limb, the injury will likely permanently affect your ability to work. Thus, you may be eligible for permanent disability. Compensation usually includes medical expenses, disability, and a continuation of normal wages.

Find an Experienced OWCP Attorney for Help

Unfortunately, the OWCP does not always award the necessary amount. In some cases, it may try to challenge the extent of your injuries, dispute where the accident happened and deny or reduce your compensation. Your OWCP attorney will help push your claim through and fight on your behalf.
For help filing an OWCP claim or fighting a denial, contact The Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC​ today for a free and confidential consultation about your rights.