As you can tell from the responses, Federal Workers' Compensation is a different body of law from Pennsylvania Workers' Compensation. I would agree with my colleague that attorney Zeelander is one of the few attorneys in this area who handles Federal Workers' Compensation cases.
Every WC case should be evaluated differently. It seems that your attorney may have been speaking to you about what the "average" settlement in Pennsylvania is. While two to three years is rather low even in speaking about averages, no case should settle simply because many cases fall into a certain range. Since you have a mediation coming up, you may want to spend some time asking the mediating judge the relevant factors. Your attorney should be able to elaborate.
As for the SSDI issue,...
I think most of the attorneys on this board will not simply tell you what you want to hear. I agree that hiring someone certified as a specialist, which is a new classification of lawyers, is a good place to start.
I agree with attorney Cullen. You can and may wish to refuse the rehab nurse's services, but the claims adjuster may decide to deny the claim as a result. I would hire an attorney sooner, rather than later, and have the attorney walk you through the process.
Unless, as Richard pointed out, this is a hearing following an "Employee Challenge," your payments should not have stopped to begin with. Checks should resume immediately, but you may need an attorney to push the issue.
Unfortunately, pain and suffering damages are not an element of a workers' compensation award. I would contact a workers' compensation attorney right away and not attempt to negotiate with the carrier unrepresented.
Each situation is very fact specific. If your attorney does not handle third party cases, you should ask for a referral to an attorney who does. Both attorneys should work together to identify the responsible party.
The answer to this question will largely depend on what documents, if any, the insurance company has filed with the Bureau of Workers' Compensation. The issue is whether the case was accepted with a Notice of Compensation Payable or a Notice of TEMPORARY Compensation Payable. Since the payments went beyond 90 days, if I read your question correctly, it may very well be a penalty situation if no other documents were filed. More information is needed.
Tragically, your situation is not uncommon. While there is some merit to the idea that you do not want to "bother" the judge, there is often no harm having your attorney discretely contact the judge's office for a status.