when does OWCP end in this situation?

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Latest post 10-03-2008 8:11 PM by lifeafterPS. 5 replies.
  • 10-01-2008 7:04 PM

    Question [=?] when does OWCP end in this situation?

    I have applied for VER not sure yet if I am going to apply for disability retirement or not. I am currently on OWCP and have not reached MMI yet but I feel they have turned up the heat with a DOL nurse. Can they drop me from OWCP as soon as they find out I am retiring? It seems like it should be like the disability retirement where as long as you don't collect it you can still be on OWCP.

    How do I keep my medical for these injuries and would I still get some vocational rehabilitation?

    How will DOL find out about my retirement? should I not mention it? I am going to have to work to live on VER but not ready yet physically. thank you.

  • 10-01-2008 10:03 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-01-2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,147

    Feedback [*=*] re: when does OWCP end in this situation?

    OWCP and OPM do run computerized cross matches, so if OPM approves your VERA or disability retirement, starts paying and your name pops up on a match it won't be long before OWCP knows.

    You can elect to take your retirement over OWCP. Just call up your CE and ask for the election form. Tell him or her that you want accept your retirement instead of OWCP. Generally, you specify an effective date. OWCP terminates its benefits and OPM should pick you up as of the effective date. Wait until you know that your retirement is approved before you do this one.

    You get to keep your medical treatment for the work injury. OWCP will transfer your health insurance to OPM. But, if you elect to go on OPM, you will not be offered voc rehab from OWCP. OWCP won't do voc rehab unless you are receiving OWCP wage loss benefits.

  • 10-02-2008 1:34 PM In reply to

    Question [=?] re: when does OWCP end in this situation?

    I would actually want to stay on OWCP as long as possible and just leave the retirement on the back burner, I only put in for it as a fall back position out of desperation. I was just wondering if the DOL can dump me early because of the retirement or if they need to fulfill obligations due to the fact of the work related injuries have changed my whole life. I need to get retrained in a new career and if I can do it with DOL help that would be best. I just haven't heard of anyone actually getting any schooling like State workmans comp. does. Has anyone had any experience yea or nay with this?

  • 10-02-2008 4:14 PM In reply to

    • Kivi
    • Top 25 Contributor
    • Joined on 01-01-2005
    • CA
    • Posts 6,147

    Feedback [*=*] re: when does OWCP end in this situation?

    The fact that you are approved for your OPM retirement will not have any meaningful effect on your OWCP entitlements. You can elect to stay on OWCP for "as long as you can stand it" or until OWCP kicks you off for some reason. OWCP will not kick you off its rolls solely because OPM has approved your retirement.

    I have only had one or two people go the Voc Rehab route and they both hated it. However, they both really had no idea what they wanted to do, resented the whole idea and thought they were not able to work (and they probably could not). Consequently, they pretty much let the counselor run the show. And they got railroaded.

    You seem to think that you can do some work. The counselor probably is used to seeing people who really don't want to be there and have no idea of what they would do regardless. In other words, the counselor quickly figures out that the person is "going thru the motions". He or she probably responds accordingly.

    I am not saying that it will work, but if you can convince the counselor of your sincerity, you might get what you want as long as it is not "too extravagant" or unrealistic for some other reason. Think about what you did when you were trying to persuade others to your point of view. You probably are going to have to be a real salesman and the person you are selling is yourself. I am not suggesting that you "drop your guard" when dealing with the counselor. Just be prepared with evidence that this particular career choice is a good one for you given all of the surrounding circumstances. By all means, do those voc tests. If you really do have a choice that resonates with you, the chances are good that the voc tests will validate that choice.

    When I say not too extravagant, OWCP is unlikely to approve a training program in excess of two years.

    The other thing that I suggest is that you research the labor market for your career choice. The counselor is not going to recommend, for example, that you become a printing press operator, since that particular occupation has been rendered obsolete with the introduction of computers and related word processing software. But, if you can provide evidence that your choice has lots of job openings that would be a real plus.
  • 10-02-2008 8:43 PM In reply to

    re: when does OWCP end in this situation?

    We have two employees from our Post Office, who have been on OWCP for years. They both have been approved for FERS disability retirement, but remain on OWCP since it pays more, leaving their
    disabilty retirement inactive.

    Lately though, the National Reassessment Program in correlation with the Dept of Labor, has set up an appointment with both to offer them jobs, or arrange a voc rehab program. The Dept of Labor is trying to reduce their roles.

    They are both now considering going onto their
    FERS disability since the hassle with the Dept of Labor and their OWCP claims.
  • 10-03-2008 8:11 PM In reply to

    Idea [I] re: when does OWCP end in this situation?

    Thank you very much for the well thought messages. I really appreciate being able to bounce things off folks.

    I am going to try to get the voc rehab to work the way it should for people who truly want to be rehabilitated or can. As long as I am not doing repetitive stuff with my arms I would like to be out in the world. There is a nutrition consultant program thats last 18 months I am checking out. It is less likely that I will be able to go through a retraining program with the little retirement I would get so I will try to hang in there.
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