The Army Exchanges are retail stores on Army bases across America and around the World. The Exchange stores sell all types of merchandise to soldiers, their dependents and retirees. The Exchange employs more than 42,000 employees worldwide. Some 23 percent are military family members and 2 percent are active-duty military that work during off-duty hours.
What if I am seriously injured while working for the Army Exchange?
Employees of the Army Exchange are covered by a workers’ compensation program called the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NIFA). NIFA is actually an extension of the Longshore and Harbor Workers’ Compensation Act (LHWCA).
These cases are very, very different from State workers’ compensation claims. Time and again, seriously injured Army Exchange workers hire local lawyers versed in State workers’ compensation laws. And time and again the Army Exchange Lawyers take apart these State Workers’ compensation Lawyer because they know nothing about the law and procedure for NIFA/ LHWCA cases. You don’t want that to be you and your case.
The Adjuster Sent me a Notice of Controversion - What Should I Do?
This is a very common question. The simple and easy answer is it's time to lawyer-up. It's time to find the very best NIFA Lawyer you can. However, we realize you might want more than "Hire a good NIFA Lawyer." While this is the best advice we can give you - we will also provide some candid insight.
What Is A LS-207 - - Notice of Controversion?
It is a form. But this form can really cause you a lot of problems. Under the law, the Navy Exchange is supposed to file an LS-207 - - Notice of Controversion when they cut off your benefits. It is called “LS” because of “Longshore.”
The form LS-207 will usually state the reasons why the Army Exchange is denying your benefits. Read it carefully. Your job (or more correctly, your Army Exchange lawyer's Job) is to marshal the evidence in your case to overcome the reason(s) why they denying your NIFA claim.
In other words, you need to prepare today for the Army Exchange cutting off your weekly benefits or not approving needed medical care today. This is the number one reason why you need to lawyer up before your benefits are cut off. If you get an LS-207 Notice of Controversion in the mail - - don't wait - immediately hire the best NIFA Lawyer you can find.
Free Choice Physician - What Does That Really Mean?
Under NIFA/ LHWCA you have a free choice of physician. You must request authorization from the Army Exchange to be treated by your free choice physician. The Army Exchange must pay for the medical treatment furnished by your free choice physician.
Don't give a recorded statement or a written statement.
It will only be used to deny your claim. If the adjuster tells you they need your statement in order to provide you with medical treatment or weekly compensation benefits, call a NIFA lawyer. Immediately. But don't give a statement.
Don't sign any medical releases or employment releases.
If the adjuster tells you they need you to sign authorizations in order to provide your NIFA benefits, call a Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act attorney. Know this - - they are only looking for reasons to deny your claim. Don’t give them a release so they can use the information they get to deny your claim. Instead, call a seasoned NIFA Lawyer.
We Represent Seriously Injured Army Exchange Workers Across America
Because we specialize in this area of the law, we accept cases from seriously injured Army Exchange workers across America and the World. We can help you and your family also.
We Are Committed To Helping You in Four Ways
1. Confident and helpful counsel to help you get the best medical treatment possible.
2. Fight to help you get all the Nonappropriated Fund Instrumentalities Act (NIFA) money compensation you are entitled to under the law.
3. A lawyer that will help you get the opportunity to recover from your injuries so that you can get your life back.
4. A seasoned third party work injury analysis to help you maximize your recovery.
Disclaimer: Please understand these discussions and/or examples are not legal advice. All legal situations are different. This testimonial, endorsement and/or discussion does not constitute a guarantee, warranty, or prediction regarding the outcome of your legal matter, your particular case/ situation and/or this particular case/ situation.