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Job Injury Help and Information for U. S. Postal Service Employees

On The Job Injury Help and Information
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RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
06:52 AM ET (US)
Snowed & VW. Thank you.
SnowedPerson was signed in when posted
10:49 PM ET (US)
The USPS is overstepping it's boundaries by requesting all medical to go to them. The problem is their lawyers pick apart these reports looking for any doctor errors to discredit them. VW has again given you great advice and legal citation.
Edited 06-22-2017 10:50 PM
VWPerson was signed in when posted
06:23 PM ET (US)
Rivkah- Have your doctor either fax the report or upload it into ECOMP. If they don't know how to upload or don't have the time or just don't want to do it, make sure to get a copy and upload it yourself. As far as your employer goes here is the statute regarding medical reports and your employer. There are other manuals and rules and regulations but this is the main one you need to back up your position.

20 CFR §10.506 clearly states “The employer may monitor the employee's medical progress and duty status by obtaining periodic medical reports. Form CA-17 is usually adequate for this purpose. To aid in returning an injured employee to suitable employment, the employer may also contact the employee's physician in writing concerning the work limitations imposed by the effects of the injury and possible job assignments. (However, the employer shall not contact the physician by telephone or through personal visit.) When such contact is made, the employer shall send a copy of any such correspondence to OWCP and the employee, as well as a copy of the physician's response when received. The employer may also contact the employee at reasonable intervals to request periodic medical reports addressing his or her ability to return to work."

There is also language in the FECA Manual, ELM, EL-505 and Publication CA-810. Oh and don't forget the Privacy Act and HIPPA.
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
03:18 PM ET (US)
VW & Snowed. I called OWCP. The nurse had been assigned by them & closed out the day after she called me. I tried to get a straight answer on sending medical to the agency first.They kept saying some agencies prefer it that way but would not say if I am or am not required to comply. They did give me their fax # so the doctor can send medical to them. I typed up a letter with the template,VW, & faxed it to the doctor. I still don't have the MRI results & am getting really antsy.OWCP said they sent me a letter yesterday telling me what is needed to process my claim & I have 30 days from yesterday to comply.Ed gave me info from ECAB decisions to help the doctor do his rationale. I pray he actually reads it. He has treated other postal employees & said he is fine with doing all the paperwork.
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
09:11 PM ET (US)
VW. Thank you again.They only thing that has been sent to HRM so far is a note saying I can't work until I have the MRI & follow up with the doctor. His office staff doesn't comprehend at all how federal OWCP works. I will use the letter & information you sent to educate them.
VWPerson was signed in when posted
08:53 PM ET (US)
Rivkah- Found this a while ago and use it all the time:


Please consider this formal notification that I, (Your Name) do not authorize release of any medical records, report, notes, opinions, etc…to any person, entity (including government agencies) or third party without my express written permission in accordance with HIPAA (Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996), the United States legislation that provides data privacy and security provisions for safeguarding medical information.

In addition, I do not authorize release of my medical information verbally, via Email and/or telephone to any person or entity without my express written permission.

This notice revokes any previously signed releases and remains in effect indefinitely.

Via my signature below, I do authorize release of medical documentation to the Department of Labor, Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs, (OWCP) only regarding my work-related injuries under claim number (Put claim number here).


Phone Number
VWPerson was signed in when posted
08:50 PM ET (US)
Rivkah-Tell your doctor, put it in writing also, that you do not authorize them to release your medical information to your employer. He works for you and not the Post Office. If he/she continues to send them the information file a complaint with your states Department of Health for violating the Privacy Act and HIPPA. Your recourse will depend on if you can find out who she actually is.
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
08:38 PM ET (US)
Thank you VW.They did process the CA1 & I have the case file #. Unfortunately the letter HRM sent with all the information the Doctor needs instructs the doctor to send everything to HRM. Now I have to convince them not to. USPS is so conniving. If I find out the lady who called me is not actually a nurse, what is my recourse?
VWPerson was signed in when posted
07:56 PM ET (US)
Rivkah-Your employer is not entitled to that information. The only medical information you are required to give to your employer is regarding your ability to return to work. I would not give HRM anything accept a CA-17 or OWCP-5c form. These are forms that are going to show what your current restrictions are and whether you can return to work or not. That IS ALL YOUR EMPLOYER IS ENTITLED TO KNOW. Send your medical reports directly to OWCP and once you have a claim number assigned upload them through ECOMP directly into your file. If they refuse to process your CA-1 because you didn't submit medical documentation file a grievance and send your CA-1 directly to OWCP with a letter explaining that your employer refuses to process your CA-1 because you are giving the medical evidence directly to OWCP. If you want you could even file a complaint with the OIG with the Post Office if they fail to process your CA-1. Keep in mind they only have 10 working days to send your CA-1 into OWCP. If they fail to send it to OWCP within those time limits let me know and I will post a letter you can send to your employer.

Hearing that he is retired from OWCP explains why he would tell you that because that is a claims examiners mentality. Here are the ECAB decisions that deal with the issue of field nurses:

Docket No. 10-485, Issued: September 13, 2010 and Docket No. 06-777, Issued: December 5, 2006

Good luck with everything and I hope you can try and get better.
SnowedPerson was signed in when posted
07:17 PM ET (US)
Once you send the initial medical to HRM nothing else needs to go to them except work restrictions. If you do send things there I would still upload your own copy via ecomp directly to your file.
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
07:15 PM ET (US)
VW. The letter states the doctor must give them the dx, prognosis and the date I will return to work. Also that all medical must be sent to HRM 1st & they will send it to OWCP.

Ed Daniels works as a FECA Representative. He is retired from OWCP. He has not posted on here for awhile but did for years. You can Google him.

I will be calling OWCP tomorrow. I think the nurse may be an imposter.

If you have the ECAB case #s I can look them up. That would be great. It's been hard dealing with all of this. It's hard for me to sit very long. I've been in alot of pain.

How would somebody who is hospitalized deal with all of this. Thank you so much for your help. This forum has been such a blessing. I especially look forward to posts from Snowed,Neice & yourself. I have been on here almost daily for quite some time trying to stay educated. I've been dealing with residuals from a prior injury for 25 years.
SnowedPerson was signed in when posted
07:06 PM ET (US)
Good advice from VW
VWPerson was signed in when posted
05:16 PM ET (US)
Rivkah-I can give you a couple of ECAB decisions on the issue of a field nurse if you need them.
VWPerson was signed in when posted
05:04 PM ET (US)
Sashy-Unless someone that reads this forum has been to a doctor that you are requesting it is almost impossible for any of us to know. I would suggest you go to the ACS website and do a provider search and start calling the doctors you find in that search. If you were in FL I could point you in the right direction but I haven't dealt with any doctors from Minn or Wisc. Good luck in your search and I do hope someone on hear can help because it will be a lot easier than having to do the search.
VWPerson was signed in when posted
04:58 PM ET (US)
Rivkah- Who is Ed Daniels? If he is your claims examiner he is lying to you. As a matter of fact whomever he is he is not giving you accurate information. Cooperating with a field nurse that is assigned to your claim is totally voluntary. They are not considered part of the vocational rehabilitation process or program so you ARE NOT required to cooperate with them. OWCP should have sent you a letter informing you that a field nurse was being assigned to your case. If you have not received this letter DO NOT give this person any information until they can prove they were assigned by OWCP. A lot of times nurses employed by the Postal Service will try and pass themselves off as field nurse's so they can gain illegal access to your information.

Regardless of any of that, it is totally up to you and OWCP on what information this nurse is allowed to have if she has in fact been assigned by OWCP. You ARE NOT REQUIRED to give her access to you, your doctor or your medical information. A field nurse will hand you a medical release form asking you to sign it so she/he can request records from your doctor. DO NOT, I repeat DO NOT sign it as their release forms are very broad and essentially give them access to request medical records from any doctor you have ever seen.

Your employer cannot refuse to pay COP just because a CA-17 was not submitted. When you read the FECA Procedure Manual-Part 2- Continuation of Pay and Initial Payments- Chapter 2-0807(5) it shows Employee Responsibilities. If you look under number 5 and go to (d) it states the following:

 Medical Evidence. The employee must present the employing agency with medical evidence supporting disability resulting from the claimed traumatic injury within 10 calendar days after filing a claim for COP. See 20 C.F.R. §10.210(b). The employing agency may continue the employee's pay absent such evidence if the nature and severity of the injury warrant the continuation. COP may be reinstated retroactively if payment was not initially authorized but supporting medical evidence is received later, as noted in 20 C.F.R. §10.222(a)(1).

Under that same chapter if you look at number 6 - Employing Agency Responsibilities and look at letter (d) it states:

Need for Medical Evidence. The agency will notify the employee of the need to submit medical evidence of a disabling traumatic injury within 10 calendar days of the date disability begins, or pay may be terminated. The agency should also supply the employee with a Form CA-17 (Duty Status Report) for completion by the physician providing medical care.

Since they are threatening to stop COP for lack of a CA-17 go to letter (e) under number 6 and you find the following:

Controversion. The agency will inform the employee whether COP will be controverted and, if so, whether pay will be terminated, and the basis for such action. The reasons must conform to those indicated in paragraph 7 below. The agency will also explain the basis for controversion (if any) on Form CA-1 or by separate narrative report, per 20 C.F.R. §10.211(c). See paragraph 7 in this chapter for information pertaining to the controversion of COP.

So in your case the agency has notified you that they need medical information showing your disability and are requesting a CA-17 from your doctor. Your doctor provided them with a note that states you are totally disabled until you have an MRI and he can review the results of that study. They CANNOT stop COP because you didn't turn in a CA-17. When reading letter (e) it says "The reasons must conform to those indicated in paragraph 7 below." This is referring to the stoppage of COP and the reasons the employer can discontinue payment of COP. So lets have a look at paragraph 7. Paragraph 7 is labeled Controversion of COP and states the following:

Controversion of COP. As stated in 20.C.F.R. §10.221, the employing agency may controvert a claim on the basis of the information submitted by the employee or secured on investigation. ("Controvert" means to dispute, challenge, or deny the validity of the claim.)
To controvert the claim, the agency must complete the indicated portion of Form CA-1 and submit detailed information in support of the controversion to the OWCP. Even though a claim is controverted, the employing agency must continue the employee's regular pay unless one of the conditions set forth below is met, in which case the employing agency shall not pay COP. In all other cases, the employing agency may controvert an employee's right to COP, but the employee's regular pay shall not be interrupted during the 45-day period unless the controversion is sustained by the OWCP and the employing agency is so notified.

a. As outlined in 20 C.F.R. §10.200(d) and based on the employee's status (see paragraph 4 in this chapter), COP is not payable in the following instances:

(1) The claimant's status as an employee is defined by 5 U.S.C. 8101(1)(B) or (E), which refers to persons serving without pay or nominal pay, and to persons appointed to the staff of a former President; or
(2) The employee is enrolled in the Civil Air Patrol, Peace Corps, Job Corps, Youth Conservation Corps, a Work Study Program, or a similar program.

b. As outlined in 20 C.F.R. §10.220, the employer can controvert COP in the following instances:

(1) The disability is a result of an occupational disease or illness, not the result of a traumatic injury.
(2) The employee is neither a citizen nor a resident of the United States or Canada (i.e., a foreign national employed outside the United States or Canada).
(3) The injury was not reported on a form approved by the OWCP within 30 days following the injury.
(4) The employee initially reported the injury after employment was terminated.
(5) The injury occurred off the employing agency's premises, and the employee was not engaged in official "off-premises" duties.
(6) The injury resulted from the employee's willful misconduct, the employee's intention to bring about the injury or death of himself or herself or of another person, or the employee's intoxication by alcohol or illegal drugs. See generally 5 U.S.C. 8102 (a) (1)-(3). Intoxication includes any controlled substance obtained or used without proper medical prescription.
(7) Work stoppage first occurred 45 days or more following the injury.

When reading the above nowhere does it state they can stop COP because a CA-17 was not submitted. They cannot even controvert the claim because a CA-17 wasn't submitted. Your doctor submitted a medical note stating what he stated and that should suffice. I honestly don't even think OWCP would agree with their argument because it is clear what your doctor is stating in his medical note.
Edited 06-21-2017 04:59 PM
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
04:15 PM ET (US)
Snowed I got a letter from HRM today with info to give to medical providers about OWCP & ACS. It also tells them to send all medical to HRM & they will forward it to OWCP. The dr faxed a letter to HRM after my appointment Monday saying I cannot return to work until I have an MRI & follow up with him. I had the MRI & we are waiting for the results. He did not do the CA17 yet.

The letterI received from HRM also said the drs letter was not sufficient & they must send the CA17 within 10 days or my COP will be cut off. I originally went by ambulance to the ER & faxed the report from the hospital that stated I could not return to work until I see my dr who would provide any restrictions.

USPS seems to take pleasure in harassing its employees. Any suggestions?
SashyPerson was signed in when posted
08:31 AM ET (US)
I have an accepted OWCP claim and am applying for a schedule award. I would like to know if there is a Podiatrist in WI or Minn who knows how to write an impairement rating letter using the 6th Addition of the AMA Guide to the evaluation of Permanent Impairement.
thank you
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
06:56 AM ET (US)
Snowed. I did tell her I aggravated a preexisting back condition & the dr believes I may have herniated a disc. Is she not entitled to medical info.
RivkahPerson was signed in when posted
06:52 AM ET (US)
Snowed I emailed Ed Daniels. He said I must cooperate so I called her back yesterday. She already knew my drs name but asked his specialty and also knew that an MRI had been ordered. I told her he would follow up when he got the results.

She also asked what happened so I told her. Doesn't OWCP give that info to her? The call was less than 10 minutes. How can I know that she is actually with the DOL? She ended the call abruptly and didn't request further contact.

What type of things can she help with?
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