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Thursday, March 26, 2015

Pain...In Your Report

Most physicians don't understand OWCP's requirements when writing a report for them. This is a topic we have discussed before.

Most physicians will write the reports they're used to writing. These reports work in just about any other system, so unless the physician understands OWCP, they believe the same report is good enough for OWCP.

As a lot of you know, this is not the case and a lot of times you, as the claimant must educate your physician on what OWCP requires from him or her. One of the biggest reasons I see for discounting your physician's report is the use of the word-PAIN.

Of course you have pain, you've been injured. Of course you tell your physician about your pain, s/he's your doctor. Of course your doctor is going to tell OWCP about your pain. Your doctor might say you can't work because of the pain. The problem is, OWCP has determined pain is a symptom. As far as OWCP is concerned, your pain is your problem not theirs.

OWCP will not accept claims where your physician only discusses your pain, even if there's a diagnosis. OWCP will not accept pain as a reason for not working. OWCP will not accept pain as a reason because your pain is your problem...it's a Symptom not a medical diagnosis.

The Employees Compensation Appeals Board, (ECAB or the Board) backs OWCP on this topic which means OWCP has every right to deny your claim based on a report that revolves around pain.

Your physician can certainly discuss your pain, but more important is for the physician to discuss the source of your pain. Where the pain is coming from. What is causing your pain. Why you have pain.

In most cases, this is not difficult to do, most claimant's know where their pain is coming from, what's causing the pain, so it isn't difficult for a physician to relate why you have pain (again-in most cases). It's just that the physician doesn't know that's what OWCP requires.

Too many claimants are having a difficult time finding and keeping physicians that are willing to deal with OWCP's stringent requirements. Many physicians become frustrated with OWCP. Many quit or say they'll never take another OWCP claimant.

Claimants need to keep the physicians they've got. So help your physician by letting them know what OWCP requires.

This is especially important when it comes to the requirements of medical reports, so let your physician know that while s/he can discuss pain, it's important to let OWCP know where the pain is coming from. What is causing your pain. Why do you have pain. What is the diagnosis that causes your pain.

For more on medical report requirements, see these articles:

http://theowcpclassroom.blogspot.com/2011/03/narrative-reports-your-physician.html
http://theowcpclassroom.blogspot.com/2011/07/more-on-medical-narratives.html