DOL Workers Comp Doctor: My Talk with the Postal Workers Union
In August, I had the pleasure of speaking in front of the local Postal Workers Union at a forum for the National Association of Letter Carriers. During this talk, I was able to speak about finding the right DOL workers comp doctor for any injuries they sustain on the job. The following is adapted from the presentation, which you can view here.
As postal workers, you guys have unique injuries. You lift and move heavy objects, sometimes at awkward angles. You walk tens of thousands of steps every day. Even the repetitive task of getting in and out of the truck can lead to injuries. What I want you to know is that we get it. I and the doctors and therapists that I work with understand your situation, and we’re going to make a difference in your life.
First, let me tell you a little bit about myself. My job is to help you get well. My job is to help your members, your brothers and sisters in arms to not suffer when they hurt themselves on the job. Truth be known: in my practice, I do more than work injuries. Like other physicians, I take care of many things. I handle mostly musculoskeletal injuries and a lot of pain management. My background—I’ve been in practice almost 40 years. Yes, I said 40 years. I know the grey gives it away. I grew up in Miami and know the area well. After graduating from Los Angeles College of Chiropractic with a degree in chiropractic and a certificate in acupuncture, I returned to Miami.
What I Do as a DOL Workers Comp Doctor
To illustrate what I do, let me tell a story. I had one patient, an electrician, who hurt his back. He was a healthy man, if a little overweight. After his injury, he started treatment with us, and after eight weeks he got so motivated that he lost 20 pounds and went back to work stronger than before his injury. You might think that this story is an exception, but it’s actually exemplary of what we do. My job is not just returning you to the condition you were in before your injury—I am obligated to make you stronger. If I can achieve that, you will be less likely to repeat your injury, and I will have done my job. If I didn’t strive to make you stronger, your injury could become chronic.
Before coming here to speak with you, I spoke with a DOL workers comp expert about what she thought I should speak to you about today. She said, “I believe the most helpful thing would be to share and reinforce with them how important it is to keep a file with all their correspondence with and from DOL, starting with the CA-1 or CA-2 all the way to everything.” Do you know how often we hear, “I don’t know my claim number. I don’t have any of the paperwork. I don’t have it.” That’s why we make a copy of every document and give it to our patients before they leave our offices—because we know how important it is. We’re here to serve you. Speaking of having the right documentation, do you know which forms you need to use?
Know Your Forms
For most of you, you’ll have to know about three different forms: form CA-1, form CA-2, and form CA-17. The Difference between CA-1 and CA-2 is simple:
- Use form CA-1 if your injury is a traumatic work injury that occurs during one work shift.
- Use form CA-2 if your injury comes from repetitive activities over multiple work shifts.
Form CA-17 is what you bring with you when you come to visit me. When filled out, it tells me what your job is—what responsibilities you have, what physical demands your job places on you. When you leave my office, it will also contain my recommendations for any restrictions on your duties that will help you heal.
Knowing the difference will help you expedite the process if you are injured.
Who Is the Right Doctor? A DOL Workers Comp Doctor
When you have a work injury, you can’t go to just any doctor and expect the OWCP to approve your claim. So, who is the right doctor? Do you go to your PCP when you hurt yourself on the job? No. They’re going to give you the state work comp form and want the adjuster to call them. OWCP doesn’t do that. You need to go to a credentialed DOL facility like mine and those in my network. Some urgent care facilities and hospitals are credentialed, but they will often give you a hard time. Our facility is near Dadeland. I’m also affiliated with clinics in Hollywood and Margate. There’s also one in downtown Miami, so we have people around who can help you.
Injured on the job? Call Us Today! 305-363-6172
BY: Dr. Michael Newman
COMMENTS: No Comments