The OWCP reserves the exclusive ability to choose the specific doctor to perform a second opinion examination. If the claims examiner has questions or seeks determination or clarification regarding the claimant's medical status, physical restrictions or permanent impairment rating, among other things, a second opinion examination can be requested.
The claims examiner need not request the permission of the claimant's treating physician to order a second opinion. Further, the claimant has no legal right to participate in the choice of the particular physician who will conduct the examination.
The law actually provides that the determination for the need for the examination, the type of the examination, the place of the examination and the choice of the medical examiner are all within the authority of the claims examiner. A claimant has no authority to argue the point or to forego an appointment set by the claims examiner.
In one case, a claimant refused to attend a second opinion examination. She provided that a second opinion was unnecessary since her attending physicians could have clarified the matter. Also, that she should have had the opportunity to participate in the choice of the second opinion physician. ECAB determined that she had no right to participate in either decision and upheld her termination of benefits until she attended the appointment.
The second opinion appointment is a very effective tool utilized by the claims examiner to make in roads and create conflicts in your case. Unfortunately, the law allows great latitude in the assignment of second opinions in federal workers compensation cases. Your failure to attend a properly noticed second opinion appointment will probably result in your termination of benefits until your compliance with same.
To contact Steve Barszcz Esq. with additional questions or to get help in your case, please call him TOLL FREE @ 877-655-2667 or write him at Steve@theOWCPattorney.com
© Stephen V. Barszcz, P.A. 2012
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