Well… “it depends."
Under the Federal Employees Compensation Act, (FECA), there are two primary benefits to be gained if your claim is accepted by the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Workers Compensation Programs, (OWCP).
First, there is medical coverage for the necessary treatment of your injury. Once you have an accepted injury claim the medical treatment you need, related to that injury, will be covered for possibly for the rest of your life.
Second, there is a lost wage replacement benefit when you are unable to work. This is a cash benefit payable to you for lost wages due to a disability caused by your injury. The amount of the benefit is either 66 2/3 % of you prior wages if you have no dependents, or 75% if you do have a dependent. These benefits are not subject to income tax and as such approximate many workers “take home” pay. These payments last as long as you are disabled and unable to return to work. They also allow one to maintain their health insurance and can include cost of living increases. For certain types of injuries there may be a Schedule Loss of use Award, (SLU), payable due to permanency once maximum medical improvement, (MMI), is reached.
If your claim is denied you may be left with using your private health insurance with co-pays to cover treatment costs; and, you may need to use your leave accruals to gain wage replacement. These last only for as long as they are available.
As you can see, in the long run, the financial benefits of an established federal workers compensation claim are quite superior to the alternative of using your personal health insurance and exhausting your accruals.
A federal workers' compensation attorney or representative can assist you with gaining acceptance of your claim and the proper payment of benefits.
The representative charges an hourly fee for the amount of work performed. The fee is approved by the OWCP. An attorney or representative is not paid out monies you may receive.
A representative can give you an estimate of the cost and will require an advance payment of escrow to assist you.
Your decision to hire a representative will depend on your analysis of the cost of an attorney versus the benefits that may be gained.
A call to MCV Law can assist you with that decision. Have your OWCP documents and medical reports handy and be ready to answer a few brief questions. We will quickly assess the status of your case.
Call Us at 315-471-1664 for a Free Case Evaluation