Collins introduces federal workers comp reform bill

Office of Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-ME) News Release

Senator Susan Collins, Ranking Member of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee today introduced legislation to stop the costly and escalating abuses of the federal workers’ compensation system.

The Federal Employment Compensation Act (FECA) is an important program intended to tide over employees who are injured and make sure they receive income while they recuperate pending their return to work.

FECA pays monthly benefits to about 49,000 federal employees who are on its "periodic roll." From July 1, 2009 to June 30, 2010, the cost was $2.78 billion. Of that dollar amount, nearly half – or $1.1 billion – went to U.S. Postal Service employees.

"At the U.S. Postal Service, for example, more than 2,000 employees currently receiving federal workers’ compensation benefits are 70 years or older," said Senator Collins. "Nearly 1,000 employees are 80 years or older. Incredibly, 132 of these individuals are 90 and older and there are three who are 98. This abuse may extend across the government. If recipients are gaming this crucial benefit at taxpayers’ expense, they must be exposed and the underlying program must be reformed."

The bill would reduce workforce-related costs government wide by converting retirement eligible postal and federal employees on workers’ compensation to retirement when they reach retirement age.

  • Jack

    it’s about time.

  • retired manager

    I agree with Jack. This is a much needed reform. How could this exist for so long. It appears that those who should have been watching were asleep at the wheel.

  • Caiomhin

    For every postal employee cited in this story, I can state with certainty that there are infinitely many more employees who are cheated out of the compensation that is rightly due them. Although management is required by law to assist injured employees in filing for OWCP benefits, this is simply not done. Unfortunately, these same employees invariably do not contact their union for help until it is far too late. Wouldn’t it be a great day when the OIG investigates this wholesale flouting of federal law by postal managers across the nation? Yeah, I know, dream on…

  • Hurt So Bad

    Interesting. I had 93 yr old former postal employee come to my window last week who was one of those receiving OWCP benefits. Seemed in better health than a lot my customers.

  • In Limbo

    When I say now, I mean yesterday.

  • Rob

    MAke OWCP total disability on the rolls at retirement age…move to CSRS/FERS and SS with credit for when they were off work. no grandfather rights!!!! IT is the right thing to do no matter what the Unions may say!!!!!

  • RENEE’ OF NTX

    LETS NOT FORGET EMPLOYEES PLACED ON OWCP’s PERIODIC ROLES BY THE INFAMOUS NRP! MOST OF WHICH ARE MEDICALLY CAPABLE OF DOING JOBS THAT ARE BEING CONTRACTED OUT OR PERFORMED BY CROSS CRAFTING SUPEVISORS. NOT TO MENTIONED THE MONIES LOST BY THESE EMPLOYEES (NAMELY FERS) WHO ARE NOT ABLE TO CONTRIBUTE TO THEIR RETIREMENT ACCOUNTS, THEREBY LOSING MATCHING CONTRIBITIONS. INVESTIGATE THAT OIG! REFORM THAT MADAM SENATOR!