Welcome Guest! To enable all features please Login or Register.

Notification

Icon
Error

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.
Options
Go to last post Go to first unread
figtree  
#1 Posted : Monday, December 9, 2019 7:03:07 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 201

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Please, I need help...I just received a letter from SS stating that I have reached “ full retirement age” and will now revert to the regular retirement $$ and they will no longer reduce my SSD because of my workers comp payments.
Forgive me...I used to understand all of this, but I’m just discharged from surgery and cannot think straight at the moment.
What does this mean?...What about that 80% max between SSD and WC payments?...What must I do now?
Thanks!
GoHuskers  
#2 Posted : Monday, December 9, 2019 8:48:20 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 684

Was thanked: 132 time(s) in 106 post(s)
There's nothing to do as far as Social Security is concerned. Once you reach your full retirement age, which would be age 66 if you were born in the years 1943 through 1954,your SS disability benefits end and your regular SS retirement benefits begin. Those benefits are not subject to the WC offset provisions, meaning you should see an increase in your SS check.
figtree  
#3 Posted : Thursday, December 12, 2019 10:35:56 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 201

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Thanks GoHuskers...does that mean that OWCP now takes that off set or do I get my current workers comp $$ and full social security? Thanks!
VW1  
#4 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 7:20:11 AM(UTC)
VW1

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/18/2017(UTC)
Posts: 61
United States
Location: Florida

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 7 time(s) in 7 post(s)
Your OWCP compensation will now be offset by the social security income you have earned for Federal employment. Make sure that OWCP starts this offset as soon as possible because you are going to incur an overpayment that will have to be paid back. If you don't stay on top of the issue it might take them a couple of years to catch it and you will end up owing in the 5 figures.
figtree  
#5 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 7:42:20 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 201

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Thanks VW1... Who calculated the soc. sec. amount for the time I worked for the feds? I only worked for the for about 5 years.
Do I notify OWCP?
GoHuskers  
#6 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 11:44:42 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 684

Was thanked: 132 time(s) in 106 post(s)
figtree - Sorry I never got back to you a month ago. Here is a link to SSA's procedure regarding the offset of the FECA (OWCP) benefit and an SSA retirement benefit.

https://secure.ssa.gov/a.../poms.nsf/lnx/0300605320

There is a lot of jargon in there, but basically SSA will identify the amount of FICA covered wages from Federal employment and provide the Dept of Labor with both the actual SSA retirement benefit and a fictitious amount computed by excluding the Federal wages from the computation. The difference between those 2 figures will normally be the amount of offset DOL will impose against the FECA payments.
figtree  
#7 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 12:00:34 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 201

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Thanks GoHuskers! So do I need to call my OWCP claims examiner and let them know...OR should I upload the Soc. Sec. letter into my file via e-comp?
I want to catch this early and not get hit one day with $$$$$ over payment bill.
VW1  
#8 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 12:48:23 PM(UTC)
VW1

Rank: Groupie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/18/2017(UTC)
Posts: 61
United States
Location: Florida

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 7 time(s) in 7 post(s)
You can actually do both. OWCP should contact SSA for the information they need. SSA should provide them with the amount of total social security you are being paid and the amount that you are being paid from Federal service. Trust me when I say stay on top of this because I just had a client that received an overpayment letter stating he owed over $40,000 because the offset had not been applied for a three year period. You don't want this to happen to you.
figtree  
#9 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 1:08:18 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 9/9/2011(UTC)
Posts: 201

Thanks: 62 times
Was thanked: 1 time(s) in 1 post(s)
Thanks VW1...the SSA letter just states that I will no longer be on SSD, and that they will no longer offset the monthly amount in conjunction with OWCP. It lists my new monthly amount. There is no mention of any separate dollar amount, or carve out for the period I worked for the feds, approx 5 yrs.
Does SSA do that or OWCP?
I’ll do both, call and upload my letter. Thanks for the heads up!
GoHuskers  
#10 Posted : Friday, January 17, 2020 6:27:07 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 1/13/2011(UTC)
Posts: 684

Was thanked: 132 time(s) in 106 post(s)
SSA provides OWCP with the info that OWCP needs to calculate their offset. This is done by an SSA office located at headquarters in Baltimore, and I'm not sure of the mechanics involved with OWCP requesting the info and SSA providing it, nor how long it might take SSA to provide the information. I would not expect SSA to provide you with any info about the offset OWCP will take since you should eventually receive that info from OWCP. I definitely agree you'll want to keep following up with OWCP until they make the adjustment.
OBE17  
#11 Posted : Saturday, January 18, 2020 4:50:41 AM(UTC)
OBE17

Rank: Rookie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/4/2019(UTC)
Posts: 44
United States
Location: New Jersey

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
As with most of the "summary" judgements made by OWCP, I don't know how an IW is supposed to recognize any surplus or shortfall in his/her benefit amount. I can't even figure out from whence the numbers on my Benefit Statement are derived! They tell you how much you are getting but they don't tell you the formula they used to calculate it. (at least I never got any such formulae)

They list a number in the "Pay Rate" field but it's not really the rate of pay, it's the amount after the WEC they have calculated for you (and I still don't know how they arrive at that) is deducted from your pay rate for your job at time of injury. (not to be confused with the present rate of the job you held at time of injury which they use in the Chadrick Formula) If that is the case then (two-thirds or three-fourths of) that number X 4 (weeks) should be your gross compensation (but it's NOT!)so WTH is that number for?

I've looked-up something called Shadrick's Formula but WhoInTheH can understand that? What if you're not computer literate or even own a computer? How are you supposed to get access to any of this data?

In any other financial transaction (with a bank, public utility, or financial institution) the customer would be notified of an over-payment and some arrangement made to "gradually" pay back the money (if it was ordered to be paid back at all)

Most SS recipients don't know how their benefit amount is arrived at either so how in the world are you supposed to be able to discern how much of your gross benefit is coming from the amount you paid in FICA on which job. This is total BS!
jesse slade  
#12 Posted : Saturday, January 18, 2020 10:28:35 AM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 8/14/2008(UTC)
Posts: 2,017

Thanks: 1 times
Was thanked: 140 time(s) in 133 post(s)
There's no such thing as a summary judgment in OWCP.

Social Security and OWCP are two completely different systems, each with their own regulations on calculating benefits. When you are approved for both OWCP compensation and SS benefits, it is SS that takes the offset (if required), not OWCP.

OWCP calculates pay rates based on the situation; whether you're full-time, part-time, seasonal, temporary, etc...and your pay rate on the date of injury, date disability began or date of recurrence.

An LWEC is a different calculation, but still based on your pay rate.

The Shadrick formula is normally used after vocational rehab has been completed or it's been determined you can return to work or you have returned to work and is used to determine a claimant's LWEC.

In essence, the Shadrick formula is used to determine the LWEC by comparing the wages of the position the claimant is currently able to perform with the current wages of the position the claimant held when injured.

The Shadrick formula is not used to determine your initial compensation pay rate.

If an over payment has been determined by OWCP, the claimant would be notified in writing. Beginning with the preliminary determination, whether or not it's been determined you were or were not at fault, and would provide the claimant with a questionnaire of recovery with a request for supporting financial documents.

If the claimant is not at fault and OWCP grants a waiver, the claimant may not have to re-pay the over payment. If OWCP denies the waiver, the claimant re-pays the over payment at a determined amount per month.

If you're not aware of how OWCP calculated your pay rate and/or your LWEC, write and ask.
thanks 1 user thanked for this useful post.
figtree on 2/12/2020(UTC)
edalder  
#13 Posted : Saturday, January 18, 2020 5:18:27 PM(UTC)

Rank: Senior Member

Groups: Registered
Joined: 10/9/2001(UTC)
Posts: 2,366

Thanks: 2 times
Was thanked: 192 time(s) in 167 post(s)
Figure, OWCP will take an offset, but it will only be for the amount of your SSA payment that is attributed to your five years of service with the Feds. The chances are good that you worked for many employers in your working career and SSA calculates its retirement benefits from ALL covered SSA earnings.

SSA calculations are rather complicated, but the importance of those five years of Federal service will likely depend upon how much nonFederal SSA service you had before working for the Federal government. If you have a thirty year work history under SSA but only five of those years were with he Feds, then you have twenty-five years of service that won't be used to determine the offset. On the other hand if you had five years of nonFederal service under SSA and five years of SSA covered service with the Feds, the impact will be greater and offset will be higher. This one often happens if you were injured at a relatively young age and then collected OWCP benefits for the next 20 years or so and have no other non-Fed earnings to counteract that impact of he Fed earnings on the calculation. In other words, the Fed SSA service has contributed more to your total SSA retirement benefit in the second example than it did in the first example.

You are probably somewhere between these two extremes. SSA can take awhile to respond to OWCP, but it certainly would not hurt if you contacted OWCP and ask your CE if he or she has sent the inquiry to SSA.

If you want to play it safe, you can bank the SSA money until you hear from OWCP. If you need to use at least some of that SSA money, then I would make a rough guess based upon how many years of total SSA service you have and how many of those years were with the Feds. in my first example, your Fed SSA service is about one-sixth of your total SSA covered earnings. The offset won't be precisely one-xsixth of your current SSA benefit, but it will probably be "in the ballpark". In my second example, your FED SSA service is about 50%. This one won't be precise, but it should give you somewhat of a cushion when that overpayment letter comes. BTW, don't count the years where your SSA covered earnings were rather meager as typically happens when you work part-time while in high school or college. Just use the number of years in which you worked on a substantially full time basis.

If the amount that you set aside using this approach does not quite cover the overpayment when you finally get that letter, you can always negotiate a repayment plan with OWCP. Since you know there was going to be an issue, it may be hard for you to get a waiver, although the overpayment letter will give you that option. What usually happens is that you and the CE come to some kind of repayment agreement and then OWCP deducts a four weekly amount that is applied to the overpayment. Interest will be charged, but the interest rate is a T-bill rate that its pretty low these days (typically under 3%). Good luck with all of this.
Kivi
OBE17  
#14 Posted : Monday, January 20, 2020 6:10:12 AM(UTC)
OBE17

Rank: Rookie

Groups: Registered
Joined: 7/4/2019(UTC)
Posts: 44
United States
Location: New Jersey

Was thanked: 2 time(s) in 2 post(s)
My use of the term "Summary Judgement" is me "figuratively speaking." Metaphorically, decisions based upon the first rule FECA has determined we will play by, a claimant's "Exclusiveness of Remedy," is precisely a Summary Judgement in that, although it appears there will be a weighing of arguments by a judge and jury, the outcome is a foregone conclusion.

An injured worker arguing his/her case against a decision by OWCP is nothing-like American Jurisprudence. It's not two parties presenting their cases in front of a Judge and Jury. OWCP IS the Judge and Jury and they've already written into the law that their reasons for deciding against the claimant need not be explained to the claimant should they invariably rule against him/her. There's no law, in American Justice, that even remotely resembles the doctrine of "Constructed LWEC." It's blatantly one-sided and nothing more than the federal government telling a citizen that he/she can not sue "Big Brother." If I work for a company in the private sector, which pays premiums for Workers Compensation Insurance, I can hire a lawyer (under any form of compensation we agree upon) sue that insurance company, and hope for a fair trial where the judge and jury are impartial and the ruling is based solely on the evidence and testimony.

If I've read your statement that an OWCP claimant hiring a lawyer is a waste of time, once, I've read it a hundred times! (there I go again, this time with hyperbole) There are law firms who solicit injured federal workers' business but there's really nothing they can do for them. It's merely charlatan, ambulance chasers implying that they can do something for an IW that the IW (or an Advocate/Representative can't) just because they are lawyers.

The playing field is not level; they've stacked the deck against you (and any other metaphor you can think of that describes a complete lack of fairness) and they've built a system of stonewalling that makes it virtually impossible to find a doctor who will agree to examine an IW and give a fair and accurate prognosis. They subscribe to a hierarchy of physicians' Curriculum Vitae as the benchmark for deciding which doctor's report will represent the weight of the medical evidence submitted which flies-in-the-face of the accepted wisdom that Medicine is not a Science but an Art!

...and to my mind, that means that every decision they hand down is a Summary Judgement (so to speak)
Rss Feed  Atom Feed
Users browsing this topic
Guest
Forum Jump  
You cannot post new topics in this forum.
You cannot reply to topics in this forum.
You cannot delete your posts in this forum.
You cannot edit your posts in this forum.
You cannot create polls in this forum.
You cannot vote in polls in this forum.


This page was generated in 0.474 seconds.