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Fers, Owcp, Ssi And Such....



Here's the background.

I'm a current USPS letter carrier. I've got over 20 years of Federal Service. I'm in FERS. I'm close to the point where I'm going to have to find another way to support my family.

I'm SC on my lower back and it just keeps getting worse. I know some of you here have been down this path.

As I see it the first thing I should do is file a claim with OWCP on the grounds that walking 10 miles per day has aggravated my back. Assuming I can get that approved that will get me some income. Then when the pain gets so bad I file for SSI and TDIU since I don't think I'll ever be able to get rated 100%.

I'm currently at 20% back, 10% tinnitus, 0% hearing loss. I've got a claim in the final stages for an increase in the back and stomach as a secondary condition.

As soon as this claim is settled I'm filing for the depression, radiculopathy in both legs, neuropathy in the left leg and erectile dysfunction.

I've also got a upcoming sleep study for sleep apnea. It's my understanding that sleep apnea is linked to both chronic pain and depression. If I do indeed have sleep apnea I'll also file for that.

Assuming that the BVA treats me well with the current claim and I don't have to appeal it I may also be filing for another increase for my back as it's gotten much worse since the last C&P a year ago. I'm assuming that I can file another claim this quickly for my back.

So, if you've gotten this far do you have any comments or suggestions?


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Sounds like you have a good plan. The only thing I would suggest is that you make regular visits to you doctor and have him/her document the fact your back is getting worse and al the secondary conditions are due to your service connected conditions or the medication that was prescribed.

Good luck

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  • HadIt.com Elder

If you file for an increase for a SC injury and you also file for OWCP for the same injury you will have to choose between OWCP and VA. You may also end up owing OWCP or VA some money. Read up on this via ELM and OWCP manuels. It gets complicated. If you get OWCP then your SSDI will be reduced and your opm is stopped.

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John is right. You cant claim that your back injury was BOTH from military service and from mail delivery. One or the other, caused it, and if you are saying the mail delivery aggraveted it, well that is a slippery slope.

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It's a service connected injury. Been getting worse over the years. Much worse the past couple of years. Since all I do is work and rest it stands to reason that all the walking, lifting, twisting and bending is aggravating my back.

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  • HadIt.com Elder

It's a service connected injury. Been getting worse over the years. Much worse the past couple of years. Since all I do is work and rest it stands to reason that all the walking, lifting, twisting and bending is aggravating my back.

It may well be related as you say, and you can possibly win a OWCP claim on this. Keep in mind if you do, the VA will fight you to no end for an increase........as others have said you take one or the other, you don't get both..........what ever your back rating is now, will be what you are left with.

You are going to have another battle........finding a doc that will stick with you while OWCP wraps him in paperwork. The tactics which OWCP plays by is something you could not make up...........with the PO calling poor mouth, the adversarial role got ramped up 10 fold.

One might want to wait until you see how the BVA treated your claim........not going to be easy to live on OPM and your current rating if your plan falls apart for some reason.

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Alright, my current claim was settled. I've been rated at 70% with a 40% rating for my back and 20% each for radiculopathy and radiculitis of the lower left leg, 10% for GERD and 10% for tinnitus.

I've filed for depression and ED.

I've counted up the missed days this calender year and I've missed 44 total or partial days. I had a major flareup last month and it seems the pain level is not going to let up. I came home early Monday, called in Tuesday and only worked one hour today. The pain in the back and leg along with the weakness in the leg make standing for any length of time impossible. Walking hurts and without a cane I feel like I'm going to fall. Getting in and out of a vehicle multiple times per day is hard. All the bending, stretching, reaching, lifting and carrying is painful and aggravates my back. I've been taking 10mg of Norco in the morning and 5-7.5 mg every four hours this week but am still having a lot of pain. There's nothing I can do for the weakness in my leg.

Of course the inability to do the job is having an impact on my depression. I feel pretty worthless as there's not much of anything I can do except sit in my recliner with the heating pad on and whine on the internet.

I'm having a hard time deciding if I should just throw in the towel. File for OPM disability retirement, SSDI, and IU.

Since I've been 14 there's only been three months I didn't have a job or two. That was the three months after I got discharged and was still recovering from my surgery. I'll be 52 next month. After 38 years of working I now face the prospect of not working. It's really hard to imagine this. We've got enough savings that we can pay all the bills for close to 18 months.

Thoughts or comments will be greatly appreciated.


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