• Project Title:
  • Postal Service's Limited Duty and Rehabilitation Programs Return to Work Processes
  • Start Date:
  • Wednesday, June 21, 2017
  • Estimated Report Release Date:
  • December 2017

The OIG is conducting an audit to assess whether the Postal Service is effectively managing the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation Programs to facilitate returning injured employees that are deemed fit  to work timely. The Federal Employees Compensation Act (FECA) is a workers’ compensation law covering Postal Service employees who are injured on the job. FECA is administered by the Office of Workers’ Compensation Programs (OWCP) within the Department of Labor (DOL). The Postal Service pays all medical and compensation benefits authorized by OWCP as well as an administration fee to the DOL for administering the FECA..

Under FECA, employees who fully or partially recover from their injuries are expected to return to work.  

The Postal Service established the Limited Duty and Rehabilitation programs to help return employees back to work and to deal with the escalating costs of workers' compensation benefits. The Postal Service Limited Duty Program was designed to accommodate injured employees who are temporarily unable to perform their regular functions with work assignments within their medical limitations.

Under the Rehabilitation Program, when an employee’s injury is considered permanent or the employee has reached maximum medical improvement, the Postal Service, in coordination with DOL, may provide a rehabilitation assignment. Employees in permanent rehabilitation positions have the same rights to pursue promotional and advancement opportunities as other employees, and they can work outside of their craft and facility.

  • What has been your experience with injured employees and returning them to work?
  • What are possible reasons why injured employees are not returned to work?
  • What are some best practices or strategies for returning employees back to work?
  • What work assignments are available for injured employees? 

Comments (15)

The most direct way to report fraud, waste, misconduct within the Postal Service is via our Hotline form

Leave a comment

By submitting this form, you accept the Mollom privacy policy.
  • anon

    I got hurt on a DB machine in September of 2016. First off the managers try to discipline me for getting hurt. Then they tried to get me to use annual leave to go see a Doctor. Thank God for The APWU that stopped both manager indiscretion. I went to the emergency room was told to go see a chiropractor. Since day one my chiropractor was trying to get OWCP to approve physical therapy and got no response. Finally in March of 2017 I contacted them to get them to approve the physical therapy they denied ALL of my care and now I am stuck with the bill. Up to this point there was absolutely no communication except for a packet even when I try to talk to them all to got to do was talk to secretaries. It seems that from day one they wanted to blame me and pay for nothing. I am appealing. I have a friend that almost got killed on the job and just got hurt again on the dock because of congested platform and he was just given a PDI. He said he won't report anything because it's a waste of time and money and they try to blame you anyway. These are VERY BAD people!

    Jul 09, 2017
  • anon

    We were told on several occasions and in no uncertain terms that there wasn't any lite duty jobs available to make reasonable accommodations for employees wanting to return from injury or illness in some capacity.. However, we have a tour 1 supervisor that's been riding around on a jazzy or Rascal for at least 3 years because she had a knee replacement or surgery... How is that considered "Reasonable accommodation"! How can this be considered equitable in any way? She's a Korean woman that threatens all management personnel with EE0's at the drop of a hat.. could that have anything to do with it? Hmmmmmmm.....

    Jul 08, 2017
  • anon

    I have been waiting for this & I'm currently back at work as a lobby director but I feel that my potential Is being wasted. I've been employed by USPS since June 2004 I have several Ideals but It depends on every type of restrictions as for myself I would love to teach our new CCA'S they are the future of USPS & many of them are thrown Into routes without understanding the efficiency to delivering mail successfully everyday without picking up bad habits which will lead to failure during their career. Also we have a call center having the ability to speak Spanish to help our customers Is a very productive day; then I believe each major City like Houston District should have a team that handles miss thrown Express I love being employed by USPS & I love accuracy this could help out so many offices as well as failures on Express Mail.

    Jul 07, 2017
  • anon

    Make sure it is real work and not make work to punish injured workers . USPS is downsizing again . Reasonable accommodation does not allow the service to violate excessing rules by juniority , regardless of light or limited duty status . This makes it hard to find work for the injured , such as no work in an office for a full duty employee , but work for someone that cannot perform the essential job functions . These rules on reasonable accommodation not violating seniority , whether for religion or disability , are the law of the land per the Supreme Court in Hardison v US Air and Bartlett v TWA .

    Jul 07, 2017
  • anon

    Bring back the National Reassessment Process (NRP) or something similar. If you visit any post office around the country there is work that could be done within lifting or other restrictions. The registry cages are a perfect example. Hot cases, etc. Because they are not considered official, authorized and/or "productive" positions, management is not permitted to put that employee back to work. No reason an employee who wants to work should have to sit home because of a numbers (positions) restriction.

    Jul 07, 2017
  • anon

    OIG auditors need to work closely with the Investigation team on "bad" doctors that continue to keep workers on OWCP! Still I see the Audit team on their own and not working together with Investigations! You will never solve the problem unless your working together so get over it! Work together on the workers and the "bad" Doctors!

    Jul 07, 2017
  • anon

    I have been injured on the job. They refuse to provide work for me. They are pushing me out the door. Looking for an attorney now.

    Jul 07, 2017
  • anon

    Shenetta is a prime example of why your rehab doesn't work. She'd been on light duty for 7 years!! She doesn't even do her job when she's there, she wonders around the building for 6 hours. She's a fraud and no one does anything.

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    Employees at my facility are "milking" the system for all it's worth. Since when does an employee injure their knee, go on vacation for two weeks, then comes back and reports the supposed injury. We've got one person who was transferred to our facility while on light duty, and still can't work (it's been 7 years)! How long is someone supposed to be in rehab???

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    I know of someone who has been out on disability compensation for years, and rightly so. The person was physically abused by a postmaster.They thought the person was "faking" and sent postal inspectors to the house to question the act. The person showed black and blue marks etc and doctors notes and a journal that was kept. The person was so harassed, they ended up in the hospital 4 different times under suicide watch. Before this happened, the person was one of the best workers in the office, loved the job and the people. Now is withdrawn and trust no one and is afraid of anyone in management or leadership. A real mental case that feels everything is their fault. Now saying that, lets hear about the real sad cases that are going on still to this day. Management doesn't care about anything except getting the mail out, making their numbers, and getting their bonuses. More volume bigger bonuses. Sure, there are deadbeats out there, like in any job, but lets speak about the abuse. Most postal employees love their job, customers and people ONLY WHEN THEY LEAVE THE OFFICE! The stress inside is like being in a hot oven, then stepping outside where you are warmed by the sun.

    Jul 17, 2017
  • anon

    The p.o.needs to make "injured" employees report to a Dr on a weekly basis. In the 20 years that I worked almost ALL of the employees had fabricated their injuries. And the few that had parents in management were able to get away with it. In most cases a job was created for them so they didn't have to go back to craft. Start getting rid of these people!!!!... This is fraud!!!... Make them go back to craft or retire!!!.... They are dead weight. Especially for carriers if they have to work so should the stick lame and lazy!!!!!

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    I feel whatever harmed the first person will harm the next person. Unless, it's some type of accident. If the injury is due to repetitive movements, back straining, lifting, pulling, pushing.....nothing will help that. Why do they think if it injured you once, and you return to it, guess what? I understand people get hurt. What I see is people come back after treatment, effective as before and I see career injuries. Who monitors these cases? Who is staying on top of this issue? I know giving weekends off, preferred parking, preferred assignments over the other employees is not fair. We are the postal service. We do what we do. If we can't perform the duties anymore, than we can't hold the job. If we are hired to be a distribution clerk, and we get hurt and we can't heal, then the postal service needs to replace us. It's a business. If we get hurt, and we take the time given to heal, then we come back. But no company can survive keeping the new worker and the one that has limitations. I don't mean to sound insensitive, I've been there. But we do need change.

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    It's extremely stupid the way they handle the paper. I got hurt may 1 2017 and a month after that I got the MRI taken. Then you got this lady Ms Previn calling you looking for minimum excuse not to pay you. I haven't get pay for more the 2 week. I had use all my sick leave and some of my annual leave. I'm suppose to get teraphy for 6 week but I'm scare that I would not get pay. So, I'm back to work hopefully doesn't get worse.

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    District denied limited duty for me because my surgery wasn't " on the job" related . I have lift restrictions for 6 weeks .

    Jul 06, 2017
  • anon

    Need to aggressively conduct surveillance on suspicious injury claims. Too many scammers. Why would anyone want to return to work when you can get 75 percent tax free for staying home. You make more money staying home in many cases than if you were working. USPS needs to aggressively conduct surveillance on order to combat FECA fraud.

    Jul 06, 2017

Share this post


Recent Comments