I still get periodic telephone calls with much misinformation, mixing terms applied to FERS Disability Retirement with “Department of Labor Retirement” or Worker’s Comp retirement. While there are indeed people who remain on OWCP temporary total disability for years and years, OWCP/DOL is ultimately NOT a retirement system. It is a system meant to pay for injured Federal and Postal workers while he or she is recuperating from an on-the-job injury.
The Department of Labor thus does everything in its power to get the injured worker back to work, by various means: assigning a nurse to “oversee” the treatment and “progress” of the worker; by sending the injured worker to second opinion doctors to see if there is a medical opinion different from one’s treating doctor; and other means which have nothing to do with the patient’s best medical interests.
I don’t handle OWCP claims; however, because many individuals who file for Federal Disability Retirement benefits under FERS or CSRS have intersecting OWCP issues, also, I have some “on the job” knowledge of such issues. Ultimately, a worker must decide between the two systems, although one can file for both benefits concurrently, one can only receive from one or the other — not both at the same time.
Robert R. McGill, Esquire