Workers’ comp offers compensation for workers injured on the job. The eligibility process involves medical diagnosis and treatment. You will be assigned a doctor to assess your injuries and determine the appropriate compensation amount. Federal workers may be assigned to DOL doctors.
DOL (Department of Labor) doctors are deeply familiar with workers’ comp requirements. They will ensure you file your claim correctly. They will oversee your medical and legal needs.
This article will discuss DOL doctors services so you better understand the benefits they provide.
DOL Doctors Services
Federal Workers Compensation
The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) program is administered by the DOL Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs’ Division of Federal Employees Compensation. It ensures federal employees are compensated for injuries. It gets them the assistance they need to return to work. It can also provide benefits to dependents of workers who died from work-related injuries.
The program is available to federal civilian employees who experienced a work-related injury or illness, or an eligible dependent of a worker who died due to a work-related injury or disease. It provides compensation for lost wages and medical expenses. It also ensures injured parties can see their preferred doctors if they are unhappy with the recommended “company doctor.”
DOL doctors help workers understand their rights as protected by the FECA. They will guide you through the application process to ensure you get the coverage you require.
OWCP Claim Assistance
Filling out a workers’ comp claim can be difficult. If the claim is not filled out correctly, it could result in a denial of benefits.
If you have questions about your claim, you may get answers from your Injury Compensation Specialist. But if you can not get the answers you need, DOL doctors can help.
They will also assist you in filling out paperwork. They will ensure no sections are omitted and that the documents are completed correctly.
DOL doctors perform medical exams to determine the extent of the injury. They will use the information they glean during the appointment to make a diagnosis, come up with an impairment rating, and develop a treatment plan.
An impairment is defined as “a loss of use or derangement of any body part, organ system, or organ function”. An impairment rating rates the injury in terms of how it affects the ability to perform Activities of Daily Living (ADL). Your impairment rating will directly affect how much compensation you collect.
Impairment ratings are calculated as percentages. A high rating means a greater payout potential. DOL doctors assign impairment ratings so you can proceed with your case.
X-rays are often integrated into the DOL doctors medical exam process. They can check for broken bones, fractures, joint misalignments, and bony prominences.
Physical therapy is often part of the healing process. DOL doctors provide physical therapy fully covered by the DOL OWCP workers comp program.
Your therapy regimen will vary depending on your medical needs and the type of injury sustained. Your doctor may recommend you follow a specific exercise routine. They may also utilize treatments like massage, acupuncture, chiropractic care, etc.
Chiropractic care may be included in the physical therapy regimen. It is often used to treat subluxation of the spine. The condition must be diagnosed through an x-ray and the diagnosis must prove that the injury was caused by the work incident to be covered by OWCP insurance.
Physical rehabilitation aims to rehabilitate the body to restore it to full functionality. It primarily targets joints, muscles, ligaments, nerves, bones, and the spinal cord. Physical therapy is commonly integrated into the rehabilitation process.
Braces and Bracing
The terms braces and bracing may be used interchangeably, but they differ in their applications.
Braces are small devices that offer support to a specific body part. DOL doctors may prescribe braces to promote healing. They reduce the risk of re-injury, minimize pain, support injured muscles, and promote proper posture.
Bracing uses devices that support larger areas of the body. They are often prescribed for neuromuscular and structural injuries. They can also correct surgery or support the legs and ankles for walking and standing assistance.
Trigger Point Injections
Trigger Point Injections (TPIs) are administered for pain relief. They address trigger points that knot up your muscles. They may be anesthetics that help dull pain, or a corticosteroid that works as an anti-inflammatory.
TPIs reduce muscle pain. They are often administered to the arms, legs, neck, and lower back. They treat conditions like fibromyalgia, myofascial pain, and tension headaches.
Peripheral neuropathy occurs due to damage in the peripheral nerves outside the brain or spinal cord. Symptoms include numbness, weakness, and pain in the hands and feet and other body areas. It can be caused by severe injury, metabolic issues, genetic conditions, and exposure to toxins.
The condition is with steroids and immunosuppressants. Physical therapy can also be helpful. DOL doctors can diagnose the problem and recommend the best course of care.
Other Things to Note
If you experience a work injury, get help as soon as possible. The longer you wait, the harder it will be to track your injuries to the work incident. See a DOL doctor within 2 weeks of your injury- but sooner is better.
Your doctor must find evidence that the injury was directly related to work activity to establish workers’ comp eligibility. They will use X-rays and diagnostic procedures to establish a connection. They will do their best to get you the compensation you deserve.