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Federal Workers' Compensation

The Office of Workers' Compensation Programs administers four major disability compensation programs which provide wage replacement benefits, medical treatment, vocational rehabilitation and other benefits to certain workers or their dependents who experience work-related injury or occupational disease.

Here is a forum for members to share and exchange experiences regarding to workers' compensation related issues.


To read today's top news stories on federal employee pay, benefits, retirement, job rights and other workplace issues visit FederalDaily.com.
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jesse slade  
#1 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 1:24:19 PM(UTC)
jesse slade

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I'm tired of hearing the tragic tales of those of us living in the shadow of the OWCP. I want to start a grassroots effort to attempt to get our voices heard. Singularly, we cannot gain the attention we need but collectively I believe we can get noticed.
 
My question is this-who is willing to write their story, or knows someone willing to write their story so that we can come together and at least make an effort to show this is a nationwide issue that deserves attention?
 
Just looking for an idea of how many out there are willing, or am I the only one...
stapler  
#2 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 10:41:17 PM(UTC)
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Count me in!

I'd love to hear more if you have ideas to implement a forum, etc. I will do some brainstorming also. You're absolutely correct. Individually, we're a collection of tragic stories. Collectively, we can be a force and voice for change. The DOL-OWCP game playing is not a game. As the agency operates now, our lives as injured workers, our health, our ability to take care of our families, our finances, our careers, etc., are being wrecked with inpunity by those who hide behind "sovereign immunity."    
watsot01  
#3 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:28:04 PM(UTC)
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FLEOA (Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association) is currently compiling a list of complaints of LEO's who have had issues with OWCP, delays, unpaid medical bills, etc.  They will be going  to congress with this.  OWCP still says there is nothing wrong with the system.
Pivotman  
#4 Posted : Wednesday, March 31, 2010 11:53:31 PM(UTC)
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Count me in too.
 
I have attempted this many times but everyone seems to go off on their own agenda with all their injuries and the point gets lost.
 
Basic question is what do we all have in common that will turn the heads of those above to do something about it?
 
You have mentioned some already.  It would seem to me that once a doctor has determined, through the use of MRI's, X-rays, etc. that should be it.  And once that doctor requests surgery, that also should be it.
 
But it goes back and forth, until you do finally have surgery and  then they still screw with paying you.  The paper work is always wrong, but they never tell you how to make it correct!  And when you do attempt to go back to work, they still make it nightmare through the use of the NRP.
 
So what do we all have in common?:
The seemingly endless hassel, frustration, and aggravation with the process, in their attempt to purge the IOD's from the workforce. By delaying paperwork, taking work away from you that you can do, causing undue financial hardship, interfering with your doctor's postsurgery instructions, because they want to back to work, (MMI process), sending you home because they cannot find work for you (again financial hardship revisted) and now the NRP
 
Have I missed anything? 
Pivotman  
#5 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 12:01:40 AM(UTC)
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So one by one why don't we make a list of everthing that have affected all  of us throughout the process and go from there?  I wonder how many would respond? 
stapler  
#6 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:22:05 AM(UTC)
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Pivotman,

You offer a comprehensive list of our shared OWCP experience. If you left anything out, it's the out and out right underhanded and illegal tactics that OWCP uses. I'm not talking about the ways in which they manipulate the regs to their advantage. I'm talking about the kinds of scandalous actions that the general public can relate to, things that can't be justified under any circumstances.

I feel that once we start sharing stories and shed light on what really goes on, it will be a real eye opener.    


jesse slade  
#7 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:15:01 AM(UTC)
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Waso01-Is there any way possible that you know who at FLEOA is compiling the list?? Or can you find out? I think we'd want to coordinate with them.
 
We need a BOLO  on it!
watsot01  
#8 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 3:48:22 AM(UTC)
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The FLEOA Legislative Committee is currently in discussions with the US Department of Labor, Office of Workman's Compensation Programs, regarding the need for change within the OWCP system.  They have developed a chart documenting the mal treatment of FLEOA Members by the OWCP and are in need of further examples.   Some examples of the difficulties are: denied claims; denied treatments; delayed payments and treatments; difficulties in communication or with the filing of forms, reduced payments or treatment without notification; failure to pay for approved treatments or medication; discourteous treatment by OWCP staff.
 
Please direct any difficulties directly to Duncan via his email address: Templedunk@AOL.com and reference OWCP in the heading.  Those interested in responding can also send their submission on to admin services as advertised in the 1811. 
jesse slade  
#9 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 7:02:25 AM(UTC)
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@watso01-thanks for the information, will make contact.
@stapler and pivotman-nail on the head. It is what we have in common that proves the abuse of the system. I agree 100% that if by MRI or other diagnostic test you can prove your injury, that should be it. I have in common each of the items you listed.
 
NRP is a serious issue, and I hope that the class action prevails...but failing to follow the rehabilitation act, not providing reasonable accommodation and walking working employees off the floor for no work is a separate issue. Those issues have the class action (a remedy) and the OWCP will justify it by saying: collerateral attack, that's the USPS not us. However, the parts concerning OWCP BECAUSE of NRP is relevant to what we're talking about here.
 
I think fear plays a role. People are afraid of what will happen if they speak out in public and to the OWCP. I admit I do have a certain amount of fear, but there's a difference between one person and many people. The more of us willing to speak out the stronger we become.
 
 
Pivotman  
#10 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 9:19:28 AM(UTC)
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jesse slade-
Your above post is very good.
If a group could show that a collateral attack has occurred by the USPS in conjuction with help from OWCP, questions could be raised that IOD's have been victims of discrimination because it would appear the USPS has been targeting IOD's-
Especially if a pattern can be established that IOD's have purposely been walked out before early out incentives could be offered.  I believe all this ties together. Even though the agencies appear to be different, are they all working together to circumvent the laws?  Why?  What would be their motive?
 
hadenough  
#11 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:13:52 AM(UTC)
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Count me in people!! There is strength in numbers. I don't know one injured person that has not had problems with OWCP.
Pivotman  
#12 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:27:00 AM(UTC)
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Here are two articles from the Postal Reporter
 
"On March 19, 2010, during a meeting with management, the Oakland Local was informed that the Postal Service is probably going to offer another "early Out."  However, Management stated that they do not know when or any of the details.  note: This time around early out may result a mass exodus from the Postal Service-especially if the incentive is at least $25,000."
 
Also:
"Last week, Rick Larson said he was one of several Carol Stream post ofice employees with job-related injuries who were told there no longer was work available for them.  After the announcement, Larson said he and several other employees were escorted out of the building.  Jackie Engelhart, APWU Northwest Illinois Area Local Chapter, said the employees were walked out like they were criminals."
 
This is what I am talking about:
How many other employees have had to deal with this through their treatment and recovery process?  It's just not right.
 
jesse slade  
#13 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 10:32:56 AM(UTC)
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NRP is most definately discrimination of IOD's...if not, why were only those employees walked out the door? The fact that most were WORKING when they were told there was NO WORK proves descrimination on that part of NRP. How can there be no work if your working when they tell you there's no work? Are you dizzy yet?
 
Not all IOD's would be 'qualified individuals with a disability' but SOME would have...yet no reasonable accommodation-in violation of the Fed Rehab Act. If ANY employee asked for a reasonable accommodation during the NRP round-up, then EL-307 was supposed to kick in-I haven't heard ANYONE say that happened, so NRP violated the USPS' own policies. There's so much wrong with NRP, I supposed that's why the class action was certified.
 
Now, the victims of NRP have been thrown into OWCP's lap. It's what, 20,000-30,000 employees?? This is where my personal opinion kicks in, I believe the USPS does not want those charge backs. And the OWCP being the OWCP just wants us all voted off the island. The Agencies and OWCP walk hand in hand. If the Agency says this or that, it is gospel even if the claimant can prove it's not true. OWCP doctors always get the weight. Have you ever had a treating physician's report that the OWCP stated was the weight of medical evidence? OWCP doctors are contracted, paid for by OWCP by at least twice the money of treating physicians. They always get 'prompt pay' and our doctors have to fight for their fees. A doctor is supposed to have the best interest of the paitent so what difference would it make if they just picked up the phone book and called the first board certified guy to do the exams? The difference is, those doctors might still be acting like doctors and the OWCP needs those reports to come out against us. It's just too common not to be a fact.  Why not a fair weighing of the evidence?  I had a DMA say that he agreed with the opinion of the IME and yet, stated he did not receive the report on which he was basing his opinion. He stated there had been no changes on the MRI's and then went on to say he had not seen the MRI's or the reports. Can you guess whose opinion the OWCP went with?
 
OWCP considers the agencies customers. If the agency wants it, the customer is always right. I think the basic answer to your question is MONEY and in the case of the USPS they don't want any employee that has a defect.
stapler  
#14 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 11:56:45 AM(UTC)
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Links to this site and an invitation to get involved have been posted on Lawyers.Com Community - Federal Workers Comp Forum Board and FECA help discussion board. If anyone knows of other sites where injured workers gather, please pass the word about our efforts here. Along those lines, does anyone have any ideas about how we can get really get the word out and bring more injured workers in? Please share. Thanks
jesse slade  
#15 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 12:10:37 PM(UTC)
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Stapler rocks! Yes, that is the question. If we only had access to OWCP's database. Nothing worth doing is easy...
Snowed  
#16 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 12:57:54 PM(UTC)
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Count me in too guys!  The constant bullying of injured employees has got to end.  We are supposed to be able to file a claim for EVERY injury without fear of reprisal.  The intimidation works or they would not be doing it.  

Even my doctor was pressured to drop me as a patient....I wonder if I can still sue....I don't have 100% proof...but if you heard my story there would be NO reasonable doubt it happened.  Abuse is continual and intentional and with the sheer number of abused claimants out there we have to have a case.
March for Justice!
stapler  
#17 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:15:34 PM(UTC)
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I'd believe you Snowed. That's the point. We've been subjected to some pretty incredible experiences. Once we get our stories out there, you'll find that your situation is a fairly common one, unacceptable, but common.

Jesse, I hear you. And thanks for getting the ball rolling. It only takes one person. And you have motivated me.

It would be nice if we had a contact list. We'll just have to be creative. I'm going to contact my newspaper on Monday to inquire about running an add in the classifieds. There is a section for announcements. Some informational adds are run for free; but I'm willing to pay if needed. The paper is circulated across the state. There are several smaller weekly papers that I can contact as well. This is just one small way we can get the word out to folks who may not have easy access to the Internet. Just a thought. I welcome any other ideas you guys have. Let's get the momentum going!    
jesse slade  
#18 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 1:41:15 PM(UTC)
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I put our message out on a couple more message boards and am still searching.
 
Pivotman  
#19 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 2:01:12 PM(UTC)
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There is a forum connected to Postal Reporter .com, when you scroll down the right side you will find "Injured on duty" and you can read some comments there.
 
There is also another site for injured that Dave kirtley has that has a former claims examiner who give excellent advice.  It is a comlicated website address but it is worth it:
 
I think one of the problems with getting the word out is that there are too many websites for worker's comp.    injured on duty       and the website above.
 
But the main problem is that it is like asking the fox the guard the henhouse.  And in this case the fox is controlled by the farmer. We're the chickens, the fox is USPS, and the farmer is OWCP/DOL. So we're asking _________, to investigate why OWCP/DOL, is not willing or unable to control the fox who is hurting the chickens.
 
How do we do that?
stapler  
#20 Posted : Thursday, April 01, 2010 2:13:39 PM(UTC)
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I am not an employee/former employee of USPS. I realize that there are issues specific to postal workers that won't apply to me.

However, I envision a grassroots effort to bring in all federal workers who are dealing with OWCP.

I just hope that this effort remains open to incorporate everyone who is affected by DOL-OWCP as we work toward bringing attention to our collective plight.
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