• Jeff Zeelander

OWCP second opinion and referee directed medical exams and Covid-19

OWCP has been scheduling many more second opinion exams in the last 6 months as there has been an internal effort to scrutinize long term cases, with many long term FECA claimants being told to see doctors again for the first time in many years. This creates a great risk that you are being sent to someone who simply sees you as a Mercedes payment and will minimize or reject your conditions because that is what these doctors think will get them more referrals from OWCP and its contractors.

However, based upon the pandemic and the many instructions on maintaining social distancing, if not outright orders to shelter in place, everyone should be notifying their claims examiner and the company scheduling the exams that they cannot attend. Some claimants are receiving calls saying the appointments are cancelled. But many others are not getting any instructions.

This is, of course, a terrible situation for those persons awaiting a decision in their cases which are pending the outcome of a medical exam that needs to be scheduled by OWCP as I anticipate that all of the scheduled exams are going to be cancelled. And it is hard to see how this situation is going to improve for at least a couple of months.

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