Partial disability


Q. I worked for the Postal Service for 30 years. Arthritis developed in my thumb and was fixed by fusing my middle joint. I still work full time, but there are still things I can’t do with my thumb, such as grabbing thick stuff like books. Can I file for partial disability?

A. There is no such thing as partial disability. You are either so disabled that you can’t fully successfully perform the critical or essential elements of your position, or you aren’t.


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  1. You can file for a schedule award with OWCP which will grant you a sum of money based on the percentage of loss of use in your finger. You will first have to file an occupational disease claim (Form CA-2) and prove that your employment caused or contributed to the arthritis. Once your claim is accepted, you can file Form CA-7 for a schedule award.

    If you feel that the arthritis is preventing you from performing some functions of your job, you can file Form CA-2 as above and once your claim is accepted, supply medical evidence showing that you need physical restrictions on your work. If these restrictions prevent you from working a full day, OWCP will compensate you for your lost wages.

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