||OWCP by Zedie e. Ramage Jr
Recently we have had four (4) cases of on the job injured workers, denied OWCP because of inadequate medical and are now scheduled for OWCP hearings.
The common denominator for all four cases is the FACT that they went to the wrong doctor.
The Postal Service Contract Doctors do NOT write comprehensive medical reports. For the most part, the VA does NOT write comprehensive medical reports. For the most part, Kaiser Permanente does NOT write comprehensive medical reports. Your family doctor may not take Federal Worker's Compensation Cases. Some doctors do not write medical reports. Your best bet is to have a Board Certified Specialist that knows how and will write a comprehensive medical report.
When an OWCP case is denied you are given appeal rights to a hearing. Your hearing is usually scheduled 7 to 8 months later. After the hearing, a decision is rendered in 90 days. You are looking at a year before you have your OWCP case approved. This means that you have gone a year with NO PAY CHECK. This means that you have Lost Your Federal Medical Health Insurance. Since you have been in a Leave Without Pay for over a year. This means that the Postal Doctor will not see you anymore, since you have no insurance. This means that the Postal Service is sending you a "Letter of Demand" for paying you 45 days Continuation of Pay (COP) because you do not have an accepted CP case.
If you are injured on the job and your supervisor tells you to go to the Postal Doctor tell the supervisor that you are going to a doctor of your choosing and that is your right under "LAW OF THE LAND".
Pursuant to 20 Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Part 10.300 (d), an injured worker who sustains an on the job injury has "the RIGHT to his or her initial choice of physician". You do not have to use the Postal Service contract physicians.
The LAW OF THE LAND is clear that YOU have the RIGHT to choose your own doctor.
This being the case, there are still several injured workers that end up with the company doctor. WHY? WHY? WHY? WHY?
If the injured workers had gone to the Board Certified Specialist originally, pay, insurance and treatment would have not stopped.
REMEMBER YOU ARE THE UNION
Yours in Union Solidarity,
Zedie E. Ramage Jr., President
Fresno Area Local APWU