FAQ on Representation
Our law firm, McCready, Garcia and Leet, as a public service, describes the regulations which implement the Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA). This article discusses representation.
May I choose someone to represent me? (20 CFR § 10.700)
- Yes. You may appoint one, and only one, person to represent you.
- If you want to change your advocate, you must first withdraw the original person’s authorization to advocate for you.
o However, if you select an attorney, any person in her “regional law firm” may represent you.
- The government will let almost any adult advocate for you. For exceptions, go here. (§10.701)
- Whomever you choose, you must submit her name in writing.
- Your agent may represent you in many aspects of your case, including,
o Choosing whether you’ll have an oral hearing or you want the hearing representative to review the written record,
o Presenting evidence,
o Arguing the facts and law, and
o Getting information from your file.
How will my representative get paid? (§10.702)
- The Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) must approve your representative’s fee before she may receive her money.
- That agency won’t approve contingency fees, however. (§10.703)
o Under a contingency fee arrangement, you pay nothing up front, and the attorney collects a certain percent of your winnings, should you prevail.
o The government’s refusal to accept contingency fee arrangements means you must pay your attorney for services as she performs them.
- The OWCP won’t pay any of your representative’s fees or administrative expenses, whether or not you win your case.
- That means you must cover all these costs.
- Your attorney will submit her bill to the government. (§10.703)
- You must sign a document stating either that you do or don’t approve the fees.
- If you approve, the OWCP will also accept the charges unless there is a contingency fee.
- If you dispute the charges, the OWCP will take the following under consideration before deciding how much money your attorney will get. The…
o Complexity of your claim,
o Time your attorney spent dealing with it,
o Customary legal charges, and the
o “Usefulness of (your) representative’s services.”
However, there is a painless way to get the facts you need. Just call us. The law firm of McCready, Garcia & Leet assists injured federal workers across the United States. An attorney specialist on federal workers’ compensation law will gladly answer queries you have about your rights, so please feel free to contact us by clicking here.