Page 13

Birmingham Bar Association - Bulletin Fall 2017

law covers both traumatic injuries as well as occupational illnesses which occur over time, such as toxic exposure and repetitive injuries. Injured federal employees are also entitled to a Schedule Award for certain permanent medical impairments. OWCP uses the AMA Guides to the Evaluation of Permanent Impairment, 6th Edition exclusively. When an injured federal worker reaches maximum medical improvement, he or she can obtain an impairment rating which will serve as the basis of their Schedule Award. This is the same as many state workers’ compensation systems, while other state systems allow for a variety of factors to determine the level of permanent impairment. Unfortunately, there is no entitlement to a Schedule Award under federal law for either mental conditions or injuries to the head, brain or back. Many state workers’ compensation systems cover these injuries as “person as a whole” or “non-scheduled injuries,” but under some states’ systems as well as the federal system, injuries to these body parts do not entitle an injured worker to a scheduled award. However, if an injury to the head, brain or back causes permanent impairment to an extremity (arm or leg, for example), the injured worker may be entitled to a Schedule Award for that region or body part. A Schedule Award is calculated using a formula which includes the AMA impairment rating and the rate of pay of the injured federal employee. Scheduled Awards are paid over a period of weeks, except in exceptional circumstances where it can be paid in a lump sum. One significant difference between state and federal workers’ compensation systems is the role of neutral adjudicator. Under state law, there is typically a neutral arbitrator or commissioner who decides disputed issues and has the authority to enter an award for a compensable Your firm is only as good as the talent of your lawyers. For the absolute best legal talent on the market, turn to OnBoard Search & Staffing. ➢ Partner Level Searches ➢ Associate Searches ➢ In-House Searches ➢ Contract (hourly) Lawyers ➢ Law FirmMerger Consulting prived federal workers the ability to have legal representation for their injuries. system is quite similar to state workers’ compensation systems. Like state Workers’ Compensation Commissions, in the federal system, “the Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation, and other benefits to certain employees who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.” Claims must be filed on-time and injuries must arise within the performance of duty. There must be a factual basis to the claim as well as a medical basis. Finally, there must be a causal connection between the work and the injury. The injured federal worker has the burden of proof on each of these elements. Federal www.OnBoardSearch.com (205) 986-9140 ext. 4 All inquiries are strictly confidential. Setting aside the ability of the lawyer to get paid, the federal workers’ compensation Richard G. Brock, Esq at richard@onboardsearch.com A8281778-01 Birmingham Bar Bulletin/ Fall 2017 13


Birmingham Bar Association - Bulletin Fall 2017
To see the actual publication please follow the link above