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jimcruz  
#1 Posted : Monday, April 09, 2018 9:36:47 AM(UTC)

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Hi. I was a Federal Officer with TSA. I suffered a tear in my shoulder 6 years ago while lifting a very heavy bag. Also I have bursitis and arthritis. For 5 years(now 6 years)I was on limited duty until TSA removed me from the job o March of last year and send me on leave without pay. Because I have a case open with OWCP they started to pay me and been paying me all this time and I'm on payroll. On February 16 TSA officially removed me from my job. If I have surgery to "fix" the 2 tears in my arm and I can work again, can TSA give my job back?. I live in Puerto Rico and here we don't have vocational rehabilitation and a couple of doctors that barely know how OWCP works.
GSBS  
#2 Posted : Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:30:16 PM(UTC)
GSBS

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Originally Posted by: jimcruz Go to Quoted Post
Hi. I was a Federal Officer with TSA. I suffered a tear in my shoulder 6 years ago while lifting a very heavy bag. Also I have bursitis and arthritis. For 5 years(now 6 years)I was on limited duty until TSA removed me from the job o March of last year and send me on leave without pay. Because I have a case open with OWCP they started to pay me and been paying me all this time and I'm on payroll. On February 16 TSA officially removed me from my job. If I have surgery to "fix" the 2 tears in my arm and I can work again, can TSA give my job back?. I live in Puerto Rico and here we don't have vocational rehabilitation and a couple of doctors that barely know how OWCP works.
You have 1 year after removal to file for OPM Disability Retirement which could provide 40% of your former salary and FEHB. I'm not sure if its too late as you mention last March and this February as removal date(s). I'd speak with an OPM D.R. Attorney today as OWCP can just stop and go away!

Edited by user Tuesday, April 10, 2018 1:43:00 PM(UTC)  | Reason: Not specified

edalder  
#3 Posted : Monday, April 16, 2018 4:02:20 PM(UTC)

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There is a Federal Workers' Comp forum here that might be a better place for your question.

Essentially, if you recover within one year, you are guaranteed to get your old job back. After that, you get a priority for placement, but there are no guarantees. The agency has to have a vacancy for that priority to be at all meaningful.

I would get your disability retirement lined up. OWCP can go south on you and you want some backup, just in case. Also, you may be eligible for a scheduled award and you can collect OWCP and your disability retirement benefits for concurrent periods. Google the term "scheduled award" for more info. Finally, if you have a spouse, you may want to preserve his or her right to a survivor annuity from OPM. OWCP only pays a survivor annuity if the work injury is the cause of your death. That's very unlikely with an orthopedic injury like yours.

In my experience, surgery to repair these kinds of tears may improve your condition, but if you were a baggage screener, I don't see you as being able to go back to that kind of work. Even with surgery, you likely will have lifting restrictions and many suitcases will be too darn heavy.
Kivi
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