what is a schedule award?
When federal employees suffer a permanent injury to
certain body parts, they are due a payment for the permanent
impairment. This is known as a schedule award. You are compensated for
the loss of use of to that body part according to this schedule:
am i eligible?
If you can answer 'yes' to these questions, you should
explore your eligibility:
||I was working for a
federal agency when I was injured.
||I suffered permanent
damage to a rateable body part (see chart).
||I can provide
medical evidence to support my claim.
||My injury is at its
maximum medical improvement.
|| I am currently
working or receiving my pension (but not
collecting disability for this injury)
is there a deadline?
You must be alive to claim a schedule
award; otherwise there is no time limitation. Even if your injury
occured decades earlier and you no longer work for the government, you
may still qualify for this benefit.
Your injury should have reached its "maximum medical
(i.e., a medical judgment that your condition has permanently
how do i file a claim?
You must submit a CA-7 Claim for
along with an impairment rating from your treating physician. If you
are currently employed by the federal government, send these materials
to your agency's Injury Compensation Office and follow up with them to
make sure your claim is submitted to OWCP. If you are no longer
employed by the federal government, then you can submit your completed
OWCP at U.S. Department of Labor
DFEC Central Mailroom
P.O. Box 8300
London, KY 40742-8300
Always put your claim number on every page, keep a copy
records, and get a receipt.
accompanying physician's report must thoroughly
describe your condition as
well as provide a rating according to the AMA Guides 6th edition. Make
sure your physician is experienced with this type of evaluation, or you
may permanently forfeit awards to which you are entitled. In
course of your claim, OWCP may send you to a SECOP (second opinion
physician) or to a referee physician. In either case, you must be
careful to file rebuttals or disagreements to the findings in a timely
manner or you will lose your claim including your right to appeal.
where do i find help?
If you need help applying for this benefit, contact OWCP Lawyer, Jeff
Zeelander. He has decades of experience handling federal workers'
compensation cases and can
help you maximize your award. Call for a free initial consulation:
what are the pitfalls?
With schedule awards, there are some traps for the
unwary. First, you cannot collect a schedule award and wage loss
benefits simultaneously. It may seem tempting to switch to your pension
so you can also collect your schedule award, but this is probably not a
good idea. Most schedule awards are not that substantial when offset by
pension or disability paychecks, so it is important to consider when it
is most advantageous to apply. A schedule award is most valuable to
someone who is back
to work, or someone drawing a CSRS pension, or someone already
collecting a wage loss check from OWCP for a different injury.
If you are collecting SSD benefits, make sure you
understand all the implications of applying for a schedule award. An
attorney or representative who does not work with Federal Workers' Comp
cases regularly may not be knowledgable about possible negative
If you do not complete your paperwork properly, you may
be forfeiting awards to which you are entitled.
If your treating physician is unfamiliar with this
process, you may not be applying for all the benefits you should.
For more detailed information about the claims process
and the rules that govern it, click here to go directly to OWCP's