Getting your ducks in a row regarding your federal worker’s compensation claim can be difficult. That’s because there are many forms and deadlines that you must pay attention to, or else you’ll lose your right to file a claim.
What forms you have to fill out and when will depend on what type of work-related medical conditions you have. These conditions fall into two categories: traumatic injuries and occupational diseases. You need to be familiar with these categories so you can complete the correct paperwork.
A traumatic injury is an injury that arose during the course of a single work shift. It’s generally the result of one incident that caused harm. An occupational disease, on the other hand, results from long-term continuous exposure to a harmful work environment.
Below is a summary of seven key forms that may be related to your claim. Given the complexity of these forms, it may be helpful to contact an experienced federal workers’ compensation lawyer to walk you through the claim-filing process.
CA-1, Federal Notice of Traumatic Injury and Claim for Continuation of Pay/Compensation
If your medical condition arose within the course of one work shift, you should file a Form CA-1. Examples of traumatic injuries where you’d need to file a Form CA-1 include cut fingers, injuries sustained from tripping and falling, and car accidents. Filing this form notifies your employer of your traumatic injury and initiates your claim for compensation.
You must file the Form CA-1 within 30 days of the date of your injury.
CA-2, Notice of Occupational Disease and Claim for Compensation
If your condition happened because of events spanning more than one work shift, the condition is considered an occupational disease, and you should file a Form CA-2. You should file Form CA-2 within 30 days of the date that you knew or should have known that the injury was caused by the workplace place activity.
Examples of occupational diseases include back strain from unloading trucks for a few weeks, carpal tunnel syndrome from regular use of a computer, or exposure to toxins in the workplace.
CA-2a, Notice of Recurrence
You use Form CA-2a to initiate a claim for the recurrence of a disability and make a claim for compensation. You may have to file it if you have a recurring injury covered by Form CA-1 or an occupational disease covered by Form CA-2.
Use this form when your medical condition flares up for no other reason other than a previous work-related condition. For example, if you have a back injury caused by work and that condition worsens because of work, you would claim a recurrence and file the Form CA-2a.
CA-7, Claim for Compensation
The Form CA-7 begins the claims process for compensation from the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP). You use it to claim lost wages when continuation of pay expires on a traumatic injury and to claim wage loss because of an occupational disease.
It’s also used to initiate leave buybacks. A leave buyback is possible if you used annual or sick leave because of your injury or illness and you want that leave credited back to your account. You can also use the Form CA-7 to claim a scheduled award (if you’ve reached maximum medical improvement but have suffered a permanent loss or impairment).
CA-16 and CA-17, Authorization for Examination and/or Treatment and Duty Status Report
The Form CA-16 guarantees your physician payment for care provided to you for injuries. This means that you do not need to pay for the care yourself.
Your employer should provide this form to you on the day of your injury. It requires the OWCP to pay for doctor visits and tests performed for the first 60 days after the issuance of the form. Be sure to request this form as soon as you can. The Form CA-17 allows your physician to keep your supervisor updated on your work restrictions and duty status.
CA-20, Attending Physician’s Report
The Form CA-20 is the attending physician’s report and is completed by your doctor. It provides the medical information necessary to support your claim that your injury and the treatment needed for that injury are due to work activities.
This form is generally submitted with the CA-7.
Do you need help with your federal workers’ compensation claim forms?
If you haven’t already asked a lawyer for help, you’ll benefit from bringing one in to strengthen your workers’ compensation case. An experienced workers’ compensation lawyer can help you gather compelling evidence regarding your federal worker’s compensation claim.
The experienced team of workers’ compensation lawyers at Hunter & Everage in Richmond, Virginia; Charlotte, North Carolina; and Montgomery, Alabama, can help you figure out what forms to file to support your claim and ensure you get the recovery you deserve. Contact us for help today.