Tips for Injured Letter Carriers in the NALC
I understand that being an injured letter carrier can be a challenging and stressful experience. Fortunately, the NALC provides a wealth of resources and support to help members navigate the process of recovering from an injury and getting back to work. Here are some key tips for injured letter carriers in the NALC:
- Seek medical attention: This is the most important step. Make an appointment with your DOL doctor as soon as possible after your injury and follow their treatment recommendations carefully.
- Report your injury: Notify your supervisor immediately and file a CA-1 form (for traumatic injuries) or CA-2 form (for occupational diseases) within 30 days of the injury.
- Contact your NALC branch: Your branch officers are trained to assist injured members. They can offer guidance on filing paperwork, understanding your rights, and accessing NALC benefits.
- Connect with a steward: Your shop steward can advocate for you in dealing with management and represent you if you need to file a grievance.
Navigating the Claims Process:
- File electronically: Use the ECOMP website (https://www.ecomp.dol.gov/) to file your OWCP claim and upload documents. Keep copies of everything you submit.
- Understand your OWCP rights: The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) administers federal workers’ compensation benefits for letter carriers. Familiarize yourself with your rights and benefits under OWCP.
- Seek representation: If you have any concerns about your claim or need help dealing with OWCP, the NALC provides legal representation at no cost to members.
- Don’t sign anything hastily: Before signing any agreements or accepting any offers from OWCP, consult with your NALC representative to ensure your rights are protected.
Recovery and Return to Work:
- Focus on your health: Follow your doctor’s recommendations for treatment and rehabilitation. Prioritize your recovery and don’t rush back to work before you’re ready.
- Communicate with your manager: Stay in contact with your manager and keep them updated on your progress. Inform them of any restrictions your doctor has placed on your work activities.
- Limited duty opportunities: The Postal Service is required to offer you a modified, or “light duty,” job while you recover. Discuss these options with your
- NALC representative if relevant.
- Stay informed: The NALC website and publications offer a wealth of information and resources for injured members. Stay up-to-date on your rights and benefits.
- NALC Injured on the Job webpage: https://www.nalc.org/workplace-issues/injured-on-the-job
- Grieving Management’s OWCP Violations Guide: https://www.nalc.org/workplace-issues/body/07.15.2022-OWCP-Grievance-Guide.pdf
- NALC Member Benefits webpage: https://www.nalc.org/member-benefits
Remember, you are not alone in this. The NALC is committed to supporting its members throughout their recovery and advocating for their rights during this challenging time.