If many injured federal employees find their initial case adjudications complex, the realm of FECA appeals must seem as understandable as our changing weather patterns. However, properly analyzed in context, these appeals are not as arbitrary as they may seem. I will address each level of appeal, and the common pitfalls found at each stage.
Reconsiderations must be filed within one year of the first claim denial or any other appeal. They must involve new evidence, or new arguments or takes on the old evidence previously presented. Common pitfalls people federal employees encounter include solely resubmitting old evidence with their own interpretations of the FECA. This will almost always result in a denied reconsideration. However, even if ones submits quality evidence and new argument, there are still plenty of ways things can go wrong.
For example, if a claim has been denied more than once, and the ideal perfect evidence is submitted, examiners may pick around the evidence for unrelated flaws in the case, and deny it on that basis. Or if a case deals with an uncomfortable subject, such as sexual assault, they may let it sit unadjudicated for months, or deny it on the basis of unrelated flaws. Examiners may also deny injuries they find two complex or don’t understand, if there are technical issues, such as whether the case is a traumatic injury or an occupational disease, because they are afraid of offending the employing agency. That all of these games violate the Federal Employees Compensation Act examiners are sworn to uphold is beside the point from their perspective.
However, at the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC, we are familiar with the gamut of OWCP’s tricks. We know how to speak the language of OWCP claims examiners. In workers compensation, speaking the right language, knowing the right terms, and proper technical arguments, as well as the latest medical research, means that we help the vast hoard of new OWCP claims examiners, learn to perform their work more accurately. And in so doing, win appeals for our clients.