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Tuesday, June 6, 2017

A question that FECA claimants sometimes ask is OWCP reduced my check saying I can work, now my condition is worse, can my check be reinstated?

In a FECA claim, OWCP will sometimes determine that you have the ability to earn wages and reduce your check. Sometimes the person is actually working, other times, they send you a notice that they have selected a make believe job, and reduced your check based upon the amount of make believe money you supposedly can earn in that make believe job. If later your condition worsens, for instance you need a surgery or your doctors are explaining that your condition is worse, you may be able to prove to OWCP that you are no longer employable and get your full wage loss benefits reinstated. Recently, a person came to me whose check was reduced in 2006. In 2009 OWCP sent this person to their selected doctor who advised that the person was unemployable and needed surgery. Since that time the person has undergone four more surgeries. Yet OWCP claims examiners never informed the person that due to the OWCP selected doctor saying that the work injury had worsened that she could request modification, nor did OWCP inform the person when the four surgeries were approved over the last eight years that each of those events should have triggered the person's wages being restored. When I became involved in the case, OWCP claims examiners continued to resist reinstating the full wage loss for many months, but finally agreed to reinstate full lost wages retroactive to 2009. If your check has been reduced by way of a decision in which OWCP claimed you were able to have earnings, and your condition has worsened to the point that you are no longer employable, that decision can most certainly be modified and your full wage loss benefit can be reinstated.