One of the benefits we frequently find that injured workers are not aware of in a federal worker’s compensation claim is a schedule award. Clients will have come to us with a different issue and in reviewing their case we find out that the Department of Labor did not pay them a schedule award that was due. In some of the cases the schedule award goes back 20 or 25 years. There is no statute of limitations on a schedule award and they can be requested at any time.
The schedule award is as the name implies. For different types of injuries the Department of Labor has a schedule as to the maximum amount of weeks an injured worker is entitled to. Once the doctor assigns an impairment rating for the injured worker the impairment rating is multiplied by the worker’s compensation rate and then the amount of weeks of benefits the person is entitled to. The injured worker receives the schedule award even if he is working. We tell the clients the best case scenario on their case is for them to return back to work and have the schedule award paid to them on top of their salary.
Not all injuries will entitle you to a schedule award. A person will only receive a schedule award for her neck or back injury if they have radiating pain into their extremities. If your neck or back injury is classified as only a sprain or strain you will not receive a schedule award. A frequent challenge we have on these cases is to get a sprain injury classified as a herniated disc so then we can seek the schedule award for the radiating pain. The Department of Labor rarely will voluntarily do this for you so an attorney is frequently needed for it.