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Monday, October 29, 2018

Sometimes you can get reimbursed for legal fees and other expenses related to your OWCP claim

This is a topic I have previously posted, but its important and bears repeating. If you are receiving a check from OWCP and are also entitled to Social Security Disability payments from SSA, you may be able to recover legal fees and other unreimbursed expenses through your Social Security disability claim. If SSA is reducing your check, they are taking an "offset" because you are receiving a check from OWCP, you can recover your unreimbursed expenses from SSA. This also applies to other expenses related to your workers compensation, for instance paying for medical a report.

SSA has a document available online explaining how to report expenses such as attorney fees paid in connection with receiving benefits from OWCP. The attorney fees (and other qualifying expenses) will be used to reduce the offset amount. Please click on the link below to SSA POMS - DI 52150.050 - Excludable Expenses, and carefully follow SSA's instructions:
If this link does not work, do a google search for the document number  "POMS 0452150050"

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Submitting FECA medical bills and reimbursement requests to OWCP

Recently, a client was complaining that nothing had happened with her request for reimbursement for traveling to an OWCP directed medical exam. After spending more time on this than seemed reasonable, I was able to determine that the problem was that she uploaded the reimbursement through the ECOMP interface. The problem is that reimbursement and bills must be mailed to the DFEC Mailbox address:

This is a reminder that when dealing with OWCP, one must always remember that everything this program does is designed for the convenience of OWCP and employing agencies. While employing agencies are given unfettered access to your file, and extensive ability to upload and characterize all sorts of documents through ECOMP, a claimant must send in a written request for access to their file, and, if you're lucky, an updated copy will be sent out after 30 days, and typically, that copy was made shortly after it was requested, and then held until the end of the thirty days.

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Requesting copies of medical records from medical providers

I frequently hear from injured workers that they have difficulty requesting copies of their records, either being told they are not allowed to have a copy or being charged exorbitant fees. The following article lays out some very good tips and instructions on how to request a copy of your records, and how to do so in ways that minimize the cost. Keep in mind that for many medical providers, sending out copies of your records has been turned into another profit center. By understanding your rights, you can avoid improper charges and obstacles to getting a copy of your medical records: