Given that the January 2014 budget agreement limits much of the sequestration cuts, and restores much needed funding at many agencies, Pines Federal is therefore beginning a new series, about a still pressing topic in Federal Workers Compensation: federal workers compensation rights. This subject stretches from the very mundane issue of medical records and claim forms, to the essential issues of stress claim entitlement.
In the current constrained fiscal environment, agencies and DOL play all types of games with client claim forms, from losing them, to returning them for reprocessing even when no flaw is found. Further, supervisors in some agencies, especially the Postal Service, threaten and otherwise try to obstruct employees from filing claims. This type of behavior is illegal under the Federal Employees Compensation Act, and your advocates at Pines Federal can provide guidance to insure that your supervisor and other staff of your agency understand this.
These prohibitions apply to the simple act of refusing to accept claim forms, accepting claim forms and refusing to process them, losing documents submitted to supervisors, and documents which the agency fails to submit to OWCP. A special mention must be made here of a particular threat occasionally employed by agency staff: threatening to sue employees for fraud. This is highly coercive and illegal behavior, and as such, can be the basis for a complaint to the DOL Inspector General. However, this type of complaint can only be made through your legal counsel.
This blog was drafted by Paralegal, Richard Kulick, Federal Workers Compensation Specialist and Former OWCP Claims Examiner on behalf of his firm the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC. If you have any questions please email the Law Offices of Eric L. Pines, PLLC